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Drew Smyly pitches Atlanta Braves to sweep over Washington Nationals

May 6, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Jon Lester (34) pitches against the Atlanta Braves in the second inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Drew Smyly pitched into the seventh inning and the visiting Atlanta Braves defeated the Washington Nationals 3-2 on Thursday to complete a three-game sweep.

The Braves had lost four straight before visiting Washington and the Nationals had won four straight.

Ehire Adrianza had a two-run single for Atlanta.

Smyly (1-2) turned in his best outing of the young season, going six-plus innings, allowing one unearned run on four hits. He struck out four and walked four.

Will Smith pitched around a leadoff double by Ryan Zimmerman in the ninth for his seventh save.

Josh Harrison had two hits and a run scored for the Nationals.

Washington starter Jon Lester (0-1), making his second start since coming off the injured list, gave up three runs on four hits in five-plus innings. The left-hander struck out five and walked two.

Trailing 3-1, Harrison led off the eighth with shot off the wall in center for a double that just missed being a home run off Edgar Santana. Starlin Castro walked and Josh Bell flied out, moving Harrison too third. Yan Gomes went with an 0-2 pitch and poked it to right for a single, scoring Harrison to make it 3-2.

Grant Dayton replaced Santana and fanned Kyle Schwarber and then got Victor Robles on a called strike three on a 3-2 count that appeared to be below the strike zone, prompting an angry response from the Nationals dugout.

Ronald Acuna, Jr. singled leading off the fourth, stole second and went to third on Gomes’ throwing error. After Ozzie Albies walked, Marcell Ozuna doubled, scoring Acuna and sending Albies to third. Lester struck out the next two batters, but Adrianza lined a single to center, scoring two runs to make it 3-0.

The Nationals got a run back in the bottom of the fourth. Bell walked woth one out and an out later Schwarber doubled to right. Acuna bobbled the ball for an error to allow Bell to score.

Schwarber led off the Washington seventh with a walk, ending Smyly’s day. Robles followed with a single and Juan Soto pinch hit and lined out to deep left against reliever Luke Jackson. Trea Turner hit into a fielder’s choice, putting runners at the corners, and Yadiel Hernandez grounded out to end the threat.

–Field Level Media