Braves held scoreless by Strasburg, Nationals

WASHINGTON (AP) — Brandon Beachy made one mistake in

his matchup with Stephen Strasburg.

It was one too


Beachy allowed just three hits, one a home run

to Jesus Flores, and the Atlanta Braves lost to the Washington Nationals

2-0 on Saturday.

Beachy, who has the National

League’s lowest ERA, kept the Nationals off the scoreboard through four

innings. Three of his four walks came during that early stretch, but

Washington’s only hit was a single by Ian


Then Nationals catcher Jesus Flores led off

the fifth with a homer on a 1-2 count over the left-center field


“Wasn’t supposed to be elevated or over the

plate,” Beachy said. “That’s what happens when you


Strasburg pitched four-hit ball for seven

sharp innings.

The Braves entered the series having

won two straight, but have now lost 9 of 11. The series opener on Friday

was rained out.

Beachy (5-4), who has lost three

straight decisions, allowed a second run after a one-out walk in the

seventh eventually came around to score against the Braves bullpen.

Overall Beachy gave up three hits and struck out six over 6 1-3


“We couldn’t have asked more out of Beachy,”

said Braves second baseman Dan Uggla. “He went out there and did his

thing again.”

So did Strasburg (6-1) — and then

some. He completed seven shutout innings for the first time in his major

league career. He opened the game with a flourish, striking out the

first four batters.

Strasburg struck out nine, walked

none and threw 90 pitches. Twice he gave up singles and then induced

double-play grounders.

“That’s the best I’ve seen him

throw. He basically could do whatever he wanted today,” Braves catcher

Brian McCann said. “You throw that hard and you can command it like

that, it makes it tough on the hitters.”

Uggla struck

out twice and grounded into a double play against Strasburg. In his

previous at-bats against him, Uggla was 6 for 8 with two home runs and

seven RBIs.

Playing defense in the seventh inning,

McCann left the game after a pitch from Braves reliever Jonny Venters

hit the catcher near his left knee. McCann sustained a bruise and is day

to day.

Strasburg allowed multiple baserunners just

once — in the third when Jose Constanza doubled and Michael Bourn

singled with one out.

Sean Burnett gave up two

singles in a scoreless eighth and Tyler Clippard pitched a perfect ninth

for his fourth save in fifth chances.

Flores’ drive

into the left field bullpen was his second home run of the


In the seventh, Beachy was pulled with one out

after Danny Espinosa walked. Espinosa stole second and Chad Durbin

walked Flores.

Both runners moved up on the wild

pitch from Venters. Espinosa scored on pinch-hitter Xavier Nady’s double

to right.

“Can’t make mistakes in a game like that

and I made far too many of them,” said a frustrated Beachy, now with a

1.87 ERA. “I put people on and they’re going to


NOTES: Atlanta SS

Andrelton Simmons made his major league debut. He was 0 for 3. …

Washington RF Michael Morse made his season debut after missing nearly

the first two months of the season with a strained back muscle. He

grounded out to short in all four at-bats. … Nationals manager Davey

Johnson said that C Wilson Ramos would miss the rest of the season

because doctors were unable to repair his torn anterior cruciate

ligament and torn meniscus at the same time. When doctors repaired the

meniscus, they thought the ligament needed time to heal and the ACL

surgery will have to wait. … Washington RHP Brad Lidge (sports hernia)

says he’ll have three rehab appearances next week for Class A Potomac.

… Braves RHP Tommy Hanson (5-4, 3.84) will pitch against Nationals LHP

Gio Gonzalez (7-1, 2.04) on Sunday.