After a painful extra-inning loss to the Braves last night, the Nationals were finally able to beat their rivals Saturday behind an ace-like performance from Doug Fister.
For a few minutes, it looked like Saturday’s game would end up much like the first two games had after Fister gave up back-to-back one-out singles to B.J. Upton and Freddie Freeman. But the Nationals starter escaped the inning unscathed and dominated the rest of the game.
On the night, Fister pitched eight shutout innings while allowing just five hits and a walk with three strikeouts. The right-hander was nothing short of spectacular as he breezed through the Braves lineup all night, turning in his best performance of the year and one of the best performances by a Nationals starter all season.
The Nationals’ offense wasn’t great but provided more than enough run support for Fister, who earned his sixth win of the season. Washington took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third on an RBI single by Anthony Rendon off of Braves starter Julio Teheran. An RBI single by Ryan Zimmerman gave the Nationals a 2-0 lead in the sixth.
The Nationals scored their third and final run in the seventh when an RBI double off the bat of Rendon scored Jose Lobaton. It was another big day at the plate for Rendon, who went 3-4 with two RBIs, raising his RBI total to 40.
After the Braves couldn’t do much of anything against Fister, Rafael Soriano shut them down in the ninth, earning his 16th save of the season and sealing a 3-0 victory for the Nationals.
With tonight’s win, the Nationals are back in first place in the division by a half game with a record of 38-35. The teams will meet again tomorrow afternoon for the final game of this four-game set.