for this game

Strasburg returns, helps Nationals top Braves

Jun 24, 2015 - 6:40 AM Washington, DC ( - Stephen Strasburg tossed five scoreless innings in his return to the hill and the Washington Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves 3-1 in the opener of a three-game set.

Strasburg (4-5) wasn't his usual dominant self before the injury, posting a 6.55 ERA in his first 10 starts of the season. He was sidelined with a strained left trapezius muscle injury after leaving a start on May 29 in the second inning.

The 26-year-old ace waited patiently on Tuesday, as thunderstorms delayed the start of the game for more than two hours, but he settled in nicely with a quick first inning and struck out six in a 94-pitch outing.

"I thought he pitched well," Washington manager Matt Williams said of Strasburg. "Five strong innings for us."

Anthony Rendon went 4-for-4 with an RBI for the Nationals, who have won six straight in the NL East rivalry.

Washington did all of its scoring in the first four innings against Alex Wood (4-5), who allowed 10 hits over seven innings.

"We battled from start to finish," Wood said. "I thought (Strasburg) looked terrific tonight. Sometimes you just have to tip your cap."

Denard Span led off the home first with a double to right and Rendon followed with an RBI single.

Two innings later, it was Span who delivered an RBI single, plating Michael Taylor. Taylor kept the trend going in the fourth, driving in Danny Espinosa with a base knock to left.

Tanner Roark relieved Strasburg and pitched two perfect innings. Matt Thornton was given the eighth, and he lost the shutout when Cameron Maybin launched a solo home run to center. Atlanta put two on later in the frame, but David Carpenter came on and got Juan Uribe to fly innocently to right to get out of the jam.

The Braves threatened again in the ninth, loading the bases against Drew Storen, but Maybin popped up to Wilson Ramos behind the plate to give Storen his 21st save.

Game Notes

The Nationals have won four straight games ... Pitcher Joe Ross was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse to make room for Strasburg ... Prior to the game, the Braves placed star first baseman Freddie Freeman on the disabled list with a sprained left wrist ... Nick Markakis had three of Atlanta's nine hits.