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Recap: Nationals 2, Braves 0
Boxscores    Line Movements    BT Movements
Game: 3
Venue: Turner Field
Date: May 01, 2013 7:10 PM EDT
  

ATLANTA (AP) - Paul Maholm made one big mistake.

It cost him another loss.

Maholm surrendered a two-run homer to Ian Desmond in an otherwise sterling performance Wednesday, one mistake too many on a night when Jordan Zimmermann pitched two-hit ball over eight innings to lead the Washington Nationals to a 2-0 victory over the Atlanta Braves.

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``I gave up two infield hits and a home run,' Maholm said. ``I've just got to take the positives from it and move on. We can still take this series with a win tomorrow. That's the important thing.'

Maholm's previous start was one of the worst of his career. He surrendered 10 hits and eight runs in just 3 2-3 innings of a 10-0 loss to the Detroit Tigers. This one was much better, but the outcome was the same.

Another loss, his third in a row after a 3-0 start.

``Paul pitched a great game,' said Braves second baseman Dan Uggla. ``We just couldn't get him any runs. Ian took advantage of the only mistake Paul made. We didn't take advantage of anything.'

The Braves had won five in a row this season over their NL East rival, and nine straight dating to last season.

Zimmermann (5-1) made sure that streak ended, striking out eight and allowing only one runner past first base - fellow pitcher Maholm, who doubled into the right-field corner in the third.

Justin Upton was Atlanta's only other baserunner, singling with two outs in the first.

``Everything was working,' Zimmermann said. ``I felt great.'

The Nationals snapped a three-game losing streak and got back to .500 for the season.

``We needed that one bad and he went out and pitched a blueprint game,' Washington manager Davey Johnson said. ``I thought he was one of the elites last year. We just didn't give him a lot of run support.

Zimmermann struck out eight and retired 17 straight Atlanta hitters before giving way to Rafael Soriano, who worked a perfect ninth for his eighth save.

``He pounded that fastball all night long,' Upton said. ``We just couldn't get it going.'

The free-swinging Braves, close to a record pace for strikeouts, could only take solace from ending their streak of six consecutive games with at least 10 Ks. Soriano fanned one in the ninth.

``That's what we're billed as,' Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. ``Teams that aren't striking out are probably complaining they don't have any power.'

Zimmermann was coming off perhaps the best pitching performance in the Nationals' nine-year history, a one-hitter for a 1-0 victory over the Reds. This one was nearly as good.

The first-place Braves couldn't do anything against the right-hander, who seemed primed for his second straight shutout until Johnson went to the bullpen, not wanting to put any more wear and tear on Zimmermann after he threw 107 pitches - 72 for strikes.

That was about the only thing that didn't go Zimmermann's way, costing him a shot at his third complete game in the last four starts.

``That was one of my tougher hooks,' Johnson conceded. ``What a great effort.'

Maholm (3-3) came close to matching Zimmermann. He allowed only three hits in eight innings, retiring the last 13 batters he faced.

But Desmond provided all the runs Washington needed, homering to left-center on a 1-1 pitch after Bryce Harper led off the fourth with a walk.

``I threw a bad curveball,' Maholm said. ``That's all they needed.'

Desmond said he got some hitting advice earlier in the series from retired Braves star Chipper Jones, who told the Nationals shortstop ``to stay on your legs.'

``That was a fun game,' Desmond said. ``We played our style of baseball. Hopefully we can roll with it.'

Harper had to leave the game in the middle of the sixth after tweaking his left side on a check swing, which was actually the holdover from a bruise he sustained the previous night slamming into the wall trying to catch Tim Hudson's home run.

Harper completed the at-bat, grounding out sharply to first, but headed to the clubhouse after talking with Johnson and the training staff. He was listed as day to day.

Roger Bernadina finished out the game in right field.

``It got to the point where I couldn't breathe real quick,' Harper said. ``I had to catch my breath and it didn't feel very good.'

Harper iced his side and got treatment. He hopes to be back in the lineup on Thursday.

``If I can play,' he said, ``I'm going to play. I can tolerate pain. Hopefully nothing will keep me out of the lineup.'

Notes: Washington RHP Stephen Strasburg experienced no pain during a bullpen session before the game and is expected to make his next scheduled start at Pittsburgh on Saturday. ... Washington OF Jayson Werth (bruised ankle, strained hamstring) missed his second straight start. ... Hudson was still savoring his memorable game Tuesday night, when he not only homered but picked up his 200th career win. Hudson said his son, Kade, was really excited about the long ball. ``He says all I do is bunt,' Hudson quipped. ... Uggla, B.J. Upton and Juan Francisco each struck out twice for the Braves. ... Braves RHP Kris Medlen (1-3) will start the finale of the four-game series, going against Washington RHP Dan Haren (2-3).

---

Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 SERIES AT A GLANCE
GAME 1
Nationals at Braves
Mon, Apr 29 Final 2 to 3
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 2
Nationals at Braves
Tue, Apr 30 Final 1 to 8
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 3
Nationals at Braves
Wed, May 1 Final 2 to 0
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 4
Nationals at Braves
Thu, May 2 Final 3 to 1
 Boxscores    Recaps

 CLOSING LAS VEGAS LINE
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 WAS  +125   -200   7 
 ATL  -135   +170   
LAS VEGAS LINE MOVEMENTS

 CLOSING SPORTSBOOK LINE
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 WAS  +126   -180   7 
 ATL  -136   +160   
OFFSHORE LINE MOVEMENTS

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 WAS  46%   44%   63% 
 ATL  54%   56%   37% 
BT MOVEMENTS

 MLB HEAD TO HEAD
 Apr 30, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 WAS 1 Over: 9 
 ATL 8 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Apr 29, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 WAS 2 Under: 5 
 ATL 3 Cover: +115 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Apr 14, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 ATL 9 Cover: +130 
 WAS 0 Over: 9 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Apr 13, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 ATL 3 Cover: +145 
 WAS 1 Under: 4 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Apr 12, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 ATL 6 Cover: +126 
 WAS 4 Over: 10 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Mar 24, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 ATL 3 Over: 12 
 WAS 9 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Mar 21, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 WAS 3 Over: 7 
 ATL 4 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Mar 11, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 ATL 7 Cover: +125 
 WAS 2 Over: 9 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Mar 1, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 WAS 6 Cover: +100 
 ATL 5 Over: 11 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Feb 26, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 WAS 5 Over: 14 
 ATL 9 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Recaps

 MLB RECAPS
 Wednesday, May 1
 
    Mets at Marlins
12:40 PM EDT
    Twins at Tigers
1:05 PM EDT
    Pirates at Brewers
1:10 PM EDT
    Reds at Cardinals
1:45 PM EDT
    Angels at Athletics
3:35 PM EDT
    Astros at Yankees
7:05 PM EDT
    Red Sox at Blue Jays
7:05 PM EDT
    Phillies at Indians
7:05 PM EDT
    Nationals at Braves
7:10 PM EDT
    White Sox at Rangers
8:05 PM EDT
    Padres at Cubs
8:05 PM EDT
    Rays at Royals
8:10 PM EDT
    Giants at Diamondbacks
9:40 PM EDT
    Orioles at Mariners
10:10 PM EDT
    Rockies at Dodgers
10:10 PM EDT
 
 
 
  
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