Atlanta at Washington

Venue: Nationals Park

WASHINGTON -- Tanner Roark has rewarded Washington for returning him to the starting rotation this season and he'll go for his 13th win when the Nationals and Braves close out their three-game series on Sunday.

After posting a 15-10 mark as a starter in 2014, Roark was shuffled back and forth between starting and relieving a year ago. This year, he's become a vital part of the rotation.

Roark (12-6, 2.88 ERA) has won his last three starts and has allowed one earned run or less in four of six. Last time out, he went seven innings in a 1-0 win over the Giants.

On Sunday, he'll face an Atlanta lineup that's scored 14 runs in the first two games of this series, including Saturday night's 7-6 loss, when they rallied for four runs in the ninth but fell just short.

"We kind of put ourselves in a hole so we had nothing to lose," Freddie Freeman said. "We came out swinging and put together a rally and came up a little too short."

Freeman homered for the second straight game, matching his career high of 23.

Washington built a 7-1 lead behind rookie starter Reynaldo Lopez, who picked up his first win.

"As an offense, we grinded out some at-bats tonight, got traffic on the base paths and kept pressure on the Braves," said Daniel Murphy, who hit a two-run homer and drove in four runs.

Roark is 4-1 with a 1.78 ERA in 13 games, including eight starts, against the Braves. He's allowed one run or fewer in six of those starts.

Freeman is hitting .360 against Roark in 36 at-bats. A.J. Pierzynski is 7-for-10 with two homers and five RBIs, while Matt Kemp is 3-for-6 with two homers and five RBIs, and Nick Markakis is 1-for-10.

Atlanta right hander Tyrell Jenkins (2-2, 3.92 ERA) looks for his third straight win when he makes his first career start against the Nationals.

In his last three starts, Jenkins, 24, has given up three runs -- two earned -- on 10 hits over 18 innings. His control has been a problem as he's walked 11 and struck out nine in that span.

Washington picked up 11 hits, including three triples and two homers off Atlanta pitching Saturday night.

Twenty-three year-old second baseman Trea Turner finished a double short of the cycle. Along with Murphy and Ben Revere (two triples), the first three hitters in the lineup finished 6-for-12.

"Just put the ball in play, get on base and let the guys behind you have some success and we did that tonight," Turner said.

Washington got some good news on right fielder Bryce Harper on Saturday. Though he missed his fifth straight game with a stiff neck, an MRI came up clean so he hasn't been placed on the disabled list and remains day-to-day.

Atlanta, which continues to do more than just play out the string, has won five of its last eight.

"That's kind of what we've been doing. We're never out of the game," Snitker said after watching his club battle back on Saturday night. "It was a really good rally. A lot of really good at-bats. Guys battling to the very end as they always do."

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weather image  Widely scattered tstorms. Overcast. Warm.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Atlanta4th NL East912.42964-6 W 3
Washington1st NL East168.667-7-3 L 2

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Series Game Log
Apr 21NYMWAS 4-3Romero Smoker 
Apr 22NYMWAS 3-1Gonzalez deGrom 
Apr 23NYMWAS 6-3Scherzer Wheeler 
Apr 28WASNYM 7-5deGrom Scherzer 
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