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Saturday, August 17th (All times Eastern)

Washington Nationals (59-62) at Atlanta Braves (75-47), 7:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Washington - Stephen Strasburg (6-9, 2.83) Atlanta - Mike Minor (12-5, 2.87)

(Sports Network) - The Atlanta Braves can't make it easy on themselves all the time and will try to stay hot Saturday in the second portion of a three-game series versus the Washington Nationals at Turner Field.

The Braves needed 10 innings to hand Washington a 3-2 loss in Friday's series opener, as Justin Upton cracked a game-winning home run in the bottom of the 10th. Upton clubbed a solo shot to left-center field for the Braves, winners in three straight and 18 of the last 20 games.

"I didn't think it was going to be out ... but it carried enough," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said of Upton's game-winning homer.

Upton, Jason Heyward and Andrelton Simmons had two hits apiece for Atlanta.

Scott Downs picked up the win with a scoreless top of the 10th and starter Alex Wood limited the NL East-rival Nationals to a run in 6 1/3 innings with nine K's and no walks.

Atlanta is 15 1/2 games ahead of Washington for the division lead and is closing in on an NL East title, the first since 2005.

The Braves are 5-2 on a nine-game homestand and will turn to Mike Minor in Saturday's tilt with Washington. Minor is 3-0 in his last four starts and has won four of his past five decisions, including Sunday's 9-4 win over Miami in which he scattered four runs across seven innings.

Minor is 6-3 in 13 home starts and 3-2 with a 4.30 earned run average in seven career starts against the Nationals. In 24 overall starts, the left-handed Minor owns a 12-5 record to go along with a 2.87 ERA.

Washington's chances of making a playoff push are dwindling and the club has dropped consecutive games since winning five in a row. The Nationals opened a 10-game road trip in dramatic fashion on Friday, as Ian Krol served up Upton's blast in the 10th to take the loss.

Taylor Jordan's start was wasted and he held the Braves to a pair of unearned runs in six innings, while Jayson Werth provided two hits and an RBI for the Nationals, who are 9 1/2 games off a wild card berth.

"It's not easy losing, that's for sure," Werth said. "It's kind of been the story of the year for us so far. We play just good enough to lose."

Werth has posted three straight multi-hit games and six over his past eight.

Nationals young star Bryce Harper was hit by a pitch twice. Wood drilled the left-handed batter in the fourth inning and Luis Avilan beaned the All-Star in the upper part of his back during the eighth before both dugouts were issued warnings.

"I feel bad for him, especially because I don't want to hit him in that part of the body. It was a bad day for me," Avilan said. "I was thinking, 'I hope he doesn't think I hit him on purpose.' You know the situation. We were leading, 2-1. I don't want to put the (go-ahead) run at first. I feel bad. If I'm going to hit him on purpose, I'm not going to hit him almost in his head because it's dangerous."

Stephen Strasburg draws the start for the Nationals Saturday and he halted a five-start winless (0-3) drought in Sunday's 6-0 win over Philadelphia. The hard-throwing Strasburg struck out 10 batters for his first career shutout and complete game to improve to 6-9 in 23 starts with a 2.83 earned run average.

Strasburg, a right-hander, is only 1-5 in 10 road starts this season and 3-4 with a 3.43 ERA in 11 career starts against the Braves.

The Braves are 11-3 against the Nationals this season, have won the last six matchups between the clubs and recorded a three-game sweep over them last week.

08/17 10:45:24 ET

  • NFL: San Diego at Denver

    Tonight at 8:25 on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: North Carolina at Virginia

    Saturday at 12:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos

    Tonight at 8:25 on 620am

  • NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at Calgary Flames

    Tonight at 8:30 on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
7:00pm Tonight
ECU
UCONN
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
IND
 
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
CAR
 
Final
KAN 7
SFG 2
Final
ORL 89
HOU 90
Final
BOS 100
BRK 86
Final
NYK 103
WAS 100
Final
MEM 96
CLE 92
Final
MIL 91
MIN 110
Final
SAN 107
ATL 117
Final
LAL 94
POR 86
Final
LAC 108
PHO 105
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
IND
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
PHI
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
DAL
 
7:00pm Tonight
ECU
UCONN
8:00pm Tonight
VT
MIAMI
7:00pm Wednesday
OTT 0
TOR 0
Final
PIT 3
PHI 5
Final
EDM 3
WAS 2
Final
ANA 4
BUF 1
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
NYI
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
PIT
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
ARI
 
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
CHI
 
8:00pm Tonight
STL
VAN
 
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
CAR
 
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
BUF
 
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
CLB
 
8:25pm Tonight
DEN
SDC