[June 20, 2014]Braves 3, Nationals 0: Gavin Floyd
pitched six shutout innings before leaving with an elbow injury and
Chris Johnson drove in three runs as visiting Atlanta won the opener of
a four-game series.
Freddie Freeman went 3-for-5 and Evan Gattis extended his
career-high hitting streak to 18 games with two hits for the Braves,
who beat Washington for the sixth time in seven tries this season to
pull within a half-game of the first-place Nationals. Floyd (2-2)
gave up just two hits with one walk and six strikeouts, but left the
game after throwing one pitch in the seventh inning, and Craig
Kimbrel earned his 21st save.
Jordan Zimmermann (5-4) pitched well, surrendering two runs on seven
hits with one walk and six strikeouts in seven innings. Jayson Werth
and Denard Span each doubled for Washington, which finished with
only three hits in losing for just the second time in its past nine
games at home.
Atlanta snapped a scoreless tie in the fourth, getting singles from
Freeman, Gattis and Jason Heyward to load the bases. Johnson bounced
a single up the middle to score Freeman and Gattis, giving the
Braves a 2-0 advantage.
Floyd, who missed most of 2013 following Tommy John surgery on his
right elbow, immediately called for the trainer after giving up a
long foul ball to Werth to start the seventh. Werth doubled off
Anthony Varvaro, but the reliever retired the next three hitters on
groundouts and Johnson drove home Freeman with an eighth-inning
single off reliever Jerry Blevins’ leg.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Atlanta LF Justin Upton did not start for the second
consecutive game due to dizziness. … Zimmermann had allowed one run
in his past 28 innings before the two-run fourth. … Johnson and
Heyward each finished with two hits.