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Washington at Atlanta

Venue: Turner Field

The Washington Nationals have run into a familiar roadblock while dropping the first two games of their series in Atlanta.

With Jayson Werth already limited, things aren't going to get easier after losing Ryan Zimmerman.

After learning its slugging third baseman would be out for an extended period, banged-up Washington will try to avoid getting swept by the Braves on Sunday.

While they've gone 6-0 against other opponents, the Nationals (7-4) dropped the first two of this three-game set and fell to 1-4 against the Braves (7-4) following a 6-3 loss Saturday. They posted a double-digit hit total for the fourth straight game, but went 1 for 16 with runners in scoring position.

Werth, who singled as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning, is day-to-day after leaving Friday's opener with cramping in his groin. Before Saturday's game, the Nationals placed center fielder Denard Span on the seven-day disabled list with a concussion.

Now they'll be without Zimmerman for at least four weeks after he broke his right thumb diving into second base when he was picked off in the fifth inning. He's hitting .364 with two homers and six RBIs on the season.

''It is what it is. Nobody is going to feel sorry for us,'' manager Matt Williams said. ''You've got to play.''

With the lineup likely to be makeshift once again, Gio Gonzalez (2-0, 0.75 ERA) may have to be as good as he was in his first two starts for the Nationals. He gave up three singles over six innings Tuesday in a 5-0 home victory over Miami.

Gonzalez hasn't had that kind of success when he's faced the Braves, going 0-5 with a 4.89 ERA while receiving just five total runs of support over his last six starts.

Chris Johnson (6 for 15), Andrelton Simmons (4 for 10, two homers) and B.J. Upton (4 for 10) fared well against the left-hander last season, while Dan Uggla and Jason Heyward were a combined 0 for 17 with seven strikeouts. Hayward, off to a 6 for 43 start this season, is hitless in 19 at-bats against the Nationals.

Freddie Freeman had three hits and his third home run Saturday, while Justin Upton and Evan Gattis added three hits apiece. Freeman is batting 14 for 31 (.452) during an eight-game hitting streak and Upton has gone 9 for 11 with three homers and six RBIs in his last three.

''It was good to see some of the guys start putting good at-bats together,'' said manager Fredi Gonzalez, whose club has won 17 of 24 versus Washington since the start of 2013.

Aaron Harang (1-1, 0.71) has given Atlanta's banged-up rotation a lift, though he's received one run from the offense in his two starts. He struck out nine while allowing one run and two hits Tuesday, but walked four in a 4-0 loss to the New York Mets.

Although he has a 2.83 ERA in his last six starts against the Nationals, the right-hander is 1-3 in those outings while receiving a total of 13 runs of support. Former Atlanta outfielder Nate McLouth (1 for 9), Ian Desmond (1 for 8) and Werth (1 for 8) have struggled when facing Harang.

Washington's Anthony Rendon bounced back from a hitless opener by going 2 for 4 with a leadoff home run. He's batting 16 for 43 (.372) with two homers and nine RBIs on the season.

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Washington1st NL East5447.535-4-6 L 1
Atlanta3rd NL East4657.44792-8 L 5

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D. CarpenterShouler
R. JohnsonFoot
N. McLouthShoulder
D. SpanBack
C. StammenForearm
S. StrasburgOblique
M. BanuelosElbow
B. CunniffGroin
J. GrilliAchilles
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Series Game Log
Apr 24PHIPHI 1-0Giles Johnson 
Apr 25PHIATL 5-2Miller Buchanan 
Apr 26PHIPHI 5-4Williams Cahill 
May 4ATLPHI 5-2Harang Wood 
May 5ATLATL 9-0Miller Billingsley 
May 6ATLATL 7-5Foltynewicz Williams 
Jul 3ATLATL 2-1Teheran Morgan 
Jul 4ATLATL 9-5Wood Correia 
Jul 5ATLPHI 4-0Garcia Masset 
Jul 30PHIPHI 4-1Harang Miller 
Jul 31PHIPHI 9-3Buchanan Perez 
Aug 1PHI 7:05 PM EDT  
Aug 2PHI 1:35 PM EDT  
Sep 7PHI 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 8PHI 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 9PHI 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 18ATL 7:35 PM EDT  
Sep 19ATL 7:10 PM EDT  
Sep 20ATL 1:35 PM EDT