It feels good to win again, but especially so against the Nationals.
Atlanta's eight-game losing streak is no more, but it wasn't without a bit of drama near the end. Four Braves homers plagued Stephen Strasburg, and that turned out to be enough to hold off a late rally by the Nats.
Atlanta continues to be #1 on Strasburg's list of least favorite cities to visit. Justin Upton greeted Strasburg by crushing a two-out, two-run homer to center in the first inning. Then in the second, B.J. did the same thing. His two-run shot gave the Braves a 4-0 lead, but then Freddie Freeman joined in the home run parade, hitting a two-run shot of his own to right field. On the home run, Nats outfielder Steve Souza jumped and crashed hard into the wall. Because of that, he left the game after his lone at-bat in the third.
Up 6-0 after two innings, Ervin Santana breezed through the first five innings, allowing only a single hit to go along with four strikeouts. Capping Strasburg's miserable night was Tommy La Stella, who hit his first major-league homer in the fifth.
With a 7-0 lead after five, no way the Braves were losing. It's too bad that Mother Nature tried to spoil it.
Like George Costanza, Atlanta's lead shrunk when it got wet. La Stella's homer was a rainmaker as the Braves had to wade through a soggy sixth inning. Now, the Ervin Santana that held the Nats scoreless through five found himself in trouble. A hit batsman and two singles put Washington on the board, but then Anthony Rendon homered with two on and suddenly, what looked like an easy win got a little more uncomfortable.
The lead shrunk even more after a rain delay. Wilson Ramos homered off Anthony Varvaro in the seventh, and a sacrifice fly following an error and a single trimmed Atlanta's lead to a single run. What seemed impossible just two innings prior now looked like a very grim possibility.
Fortunately, it didn't come to that as Jordan Walden and Craig Kimbrel closed the door on any miracle comeback to close out the 7-6 win.