ATLANTA -- James Parr pitched well in his last three starts with Triple-A Richmond and carried it over to his major league debut Thursday night.
Parr (1-0) surrendered just two hits -- both to Ronnie Belliard -- walked three and struck out three. The 22-year-old right-hander didn't allow a runner past second base.
"What a night he had," Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said. "He's sneaky quick. He doesn't light up the radar gun, but he's got a little looping curve and a changeup. I was impressed. It's a great way to break in."
Parr, who was promoted on Tuesday, went 5-3 with a 3.23 ERA with Richmond, going 3-0 with a 0.96 ERA in his last three starts.
"I didn't want to change anything," Parr said. "I just pitched the way I had been."
Parr had his parents, girlfriend and other relatives and friends on hand for his impressive debut. He threw 60 of his 101 pitches for strikes, and was never clocked at more than 88 mph.
"I was a little nervous, just uncomfortable early," he said. "It was very uncharacteristic of me to walk three guys (all in the first three innings). I struggled early, then turned it around later."
Jeff Bennett worked the seventh, Julian Tavarez pitched the eighth and Mike Gonzalez got three outs to complete Atlanta's seventh shutout of the season. Gonzalez struck out the side after Ryan Zimmerman's leadoff double.
Gonzalez has converted all nine of his save opportunities this season and 39 straight overall, the longest current streak in the major leagues, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. He has not blown a save since June 25, 2004, for Pittsburgh at Cincinnati.
Shairon Martis (0-1) also pitched well for Washington in his major league debut, allowing two runs and four hits in five innings. He walked five and struck out two.
"I think I did pretty well. Five innings. I'm happy with it," said Martis, who pitched for the Netherlands in the Olympics. "It was exciting. After the first inning, I was feeling more comfortable."
Brian McCann hit a sacrifice fly in the third and Gregor Blanco drove in Casey Kotchman with a fielder's choice in the fourth.
The Braves won for only the sixth time in 24 games and ended Washington's five-game winning streak in the season series. The Nationals, mired in last in the NL East, had won eight of nine.
Washington has won 10 of 15 against Atlanta this season.