Atl 0 0 0 0 1 2 3 0 0 6
Was 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 2
Date of game: 9/10/2014

Recap: Washington vs. Atlanta

Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - Aaron Harang had nine strikeouts in seven strong innings, Justin Upton knocked in three runs and the Atlanta Braves beat the Washington Nationals 6-2 on Wednesday to avoid being swept in a three-game series.

Upton had two hits and brother B.J. added a solo homer for the Braves, who snapped a three-game slide -- and more importantly, got a game back from the division leaders.

The NL East-leading Nationals carried a seven-game lead over the Braves into the series and pushed it to nine after back-to-back victories. They had a three-game winning streak snapped. Their lead is now eight games.

Nationals manager Matt Williams said "everything's the same at this point" in regards to how his team is approaching its games.

"We're done this series," he said. "We're going into New York against a team with good starting pitching and a power bullpen, so it doesn't get any easier from here."

Harang (11-10) allowed six hits, one unearned run and no walks and snapped a three-start losing streak. The Braves are 2-9 in his last 11 outings.

"It's huge, every game going down the stretch," said Harang. "I think the biggest thing is, we can't focus on the division as much as the wild card."

Stephen Strasburg (11-11) went six innings for Washington, giving up three runs on seven hits and no walks. He struck out eight and lost for the first time in his last six starts.

Bryce Harper homered off Craig Kimbrel in the ninth inning, but the Braves closer retired the other three batters he faced in hi first appearance since Saturday.

The game was scoreless until B.J. Upton led off the fifth inning with his 11th homer of the season, a first-pitch drive into the left-field seats.

The Nationals tied the score in the bottom of the fifth when Denard Span came home on a passed ball, but the Braves scored five runs in the next two frames for a 6-1 lead.

Freddie Freeman doubled to lead off the sixth and scored on a hit by Justin Upton, who was then caught trying to steal second base. But Tommy La Stella hit a two-out double, went to third on Strasburg's wild pitch and scored on a single by Christian Bethancourt.

The Braves loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh against Jerry Blevins and Freeman followed with a sacrifice fly. Justin Upton hit a two-run double off Ryan Mattheus for the five-run lead.

Harang retired the final seven batters he faced after giving up the unearned run in the fifth inning. David Carpenter worked around a two-out walk in the eighth.

Game Notes

Kevin Frandsen had three hits to lead Washington ... The Nationals will start an 11-game road trip on Thursday against the Mets ... The Braves will finish a nine-game road trip against Texas starting Friday.

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