The Atlanta Braves received a fine pitching performance from Brandon Beachy on Saturday afternoon, but Stephen Strasburg was simply too good as the Nationals went on to win 2-0. The Braves managed just six hits, did not walk and only had two runners reach scoring position twice.
For as good as Beachy was, he made one mistake to Jesus Flores. The Nationals catcher took a high fastball and deposited it into the left field seat, giving Washington a 1-0 lead in the fifth.
Danny Espinosa drew a one-out walk against Beachy in the seventh, which would be the final batter he faced. Flores drew a walk against Chad Durbin, prompting Fredi Gonzalez to bring in the struggling Jonny Venters in from the bullpen. Venters left an elevated 3-2 fastball over the plate and Xavier Nady did not miss it, doubling down the right field line.
With the Braves trailing 2-0 in the eighth they received back-to-back infield singles from Matt Diaz and Jose Constanza, but Michael Bourn flew out to left to end the threat. Atlanta did not mount a rally in the ninth, striking out for two of their three outs.
Brian McCann left the game with an injury but it is not believed to be too serious. He took a ball off the kneecap in the seventh inning and was able to put some weight on it, although he left after consulting with manager Fredi Gonzalez and trainer Jeff Porter.
Andrelton Simmons went 0-for-3 with a double play in his debut, although he smoked the ball right at the shortstop in his second at-bat. His defense was as good as advertised, making numerous plays in the field look easy.
The Braves and Nats will meet for the series finale on Sunday afternoon.
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