The Nationals only registered two hits in their second straight loss to the Atlanta Braves to open the four game series.
Braves starting pitcher Mike Foltynewicz pitched his first career complete game by only throwing 106 pitches, 73 of which were strikes, with 11 strikeouts, while walking just one batter.
Foltynewicz’s one walk was issued to Juan Soto in the eighth inning which snapped a streak of 20 straight Nationals batters who were retired.
The two lead-off men for the Nationals were the only two that registered a hit on the red hot Atlanta pitcher who is 3-1 with a 0.56 ERA in his last five starts.
Bryce Harper singled in the second inning prior to the run of 20 straight retired Nationals’ batters.
Trea Turner singled in the top of the ninth inning before Harper struck out to solidify the shutout for Atlanta and finalize the Braves 4-0 win on Friday night. Atlanta scored all four of their runs in the seventh inning.
More noteworthy than the loss for the Nationals was the early loss and exit of starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg. He finished with ten strikeouts for the third time this season, but still allowed seven hits and four runs to be scored, three of which were earned.
Strasburg left the game in the seventh inning after flexing his non-throwing left wrist for what Nationals fans hope were just signs of cramping so Strasburg will be healthy and ready to go for his next start.
The Nationals lead atop the N.L. East was short lived as the two losses to the Braves have bumped the Nats to a tie for second with the Philadelphia Phillies. The Braves have won five of their last seven games and gained sole possession of first place with a game and a half lead on the Nats and Phillies.
Gio Gonzalez (6-2, 2.10 ERA) is next on the mound for Washington as the Nats will look to preserve a split in the four games series in Atlanta after dropping the first two.