Power pitching highlights Nationals-Braves matchup (May 31, 2018)
Washington will send Stephen Strasburg (6-4, 3.13) against Atlanta's Mike Foltynewicz (4-2, 2.55).
Atlanta won the series opener 4-2 on Thursday when Sean Newcomb outdueled Atlanta nemesis Tanner Roark to end Washington's six-game winning streak and regain first place in the N.L. East.
Strasburg pitched six shutout innings in his last start on Sunday against Miami, leaving after he threw 103 pitches in his shortest stint of the season. Strasburg has won four of his last five decisions.
"He gave us his all," Washington manager Dave Martinez said afterwards. "It was 103 pitches. That was his all."
"They weren't really on the pitches," Strasburg said. You get away with some pitches. You get beat on some pitches. I was more on the side of getting away with some."
His only 2018 start against Atlanta occurred on April 10, when he pitched eight shutout innings and got the win. He allowed only three hits and struck out eight. Strasburg has 28 career starts against the Braves and has compiled a 11-9 record and 3.84 ERA.
In his last start against the Braves, Strasburg retired Freddie Freeman twice. Freeman is on a 13-game hitting streak and is a .357 (15-for-42) hitter off Strasburg.
Foltynewicz is coming off his best start of the season in Sunday's 7-1 win at Boston. He pitched a season-high pitched seven and allowed one run with seven strikeouts. It was the 10th game in which he allowed two or fewer earned runs.
"He was very aggressive," Atlanta catcher Tyler Flowers said after Foltynewicz's last start. "He was pounding the zone. Not his best command, but a better day with the off-speed command, which gives you more margin of error on your fastball command, especially when you're throwing at that velocity."
Manager Brian Snitker said Foltynewicz looked as good as he did when he carried a no-hitter into the ninth inning against Oakland last June.
"He was efficient with his pitching, on the attack and I loved the way he stayed after it," Snitker said. "He was really good."
Foltynewicz is 1-1 with a 2.61 ERA in two starts against Washington this season. He beat the Nats on April 4, allowing one run in 5 1/3 innings, and lost to them on April 10, giving up three runs (two earned) in five innings.
In eight career starts against the Nationals, Foltynewicz is 3-3 with a 4.89 ERA.
The Braves made a roster move on Thursday to bolster the bench by recalling outfielder Peter Bourjos from Triple-A Gwinnett and sending rookie Dustin Peterson back to the Stripers. Peterson had gone 0-for-2 as a pinch hitter. Bourjos played 18 games for Atlanta before being released on April 29 and rejoining the organization with Gwinnett, where he hit .277 in 24 games.
The Braves also released right-hander Aaron Blair, who has been troubled by shoulder issues all season.
Blair was obtained in the Arizona trade that brought Dansby Swanson and Ender Inciarte. He was then thought to be the most major-league ready of the young arms that had been acquired. He got 15 starts in 2016 and went 2-7 with a 7.59 ERA and made only one emergency start last year, which he lost.
The Nationals added setup man Ryan Madson on Friday. He had been on the disabled list since May 17 with a pectoral strain.