Mike Foltynewicz delivered on the mound and at the plate, and Preston Tucker hit his second three-run home run in as many days as the Atlanta Braves beat Max Scherzer and took two of three games from the Washington Nationals with a 7-1 win in Wednesday’s series finale at SunTrust Park.
Foltynewicz (1-0) surrendered one run on four hits and struck out eight in 5 1/3 innings and had a two-run double in the fourth inning for the Braves.
With two outs in the first inning, Tucker smacked a hanging breaking ball from Scherzer over the center-field wall, plating Freddie Freeman and Nick Markakis and giving the Braves an early 3-0 lead. Tucker’s second home run of the series came after an error by Washington second baseman Wilmer Difo that extended the inning.
Scherzer (1-1) gave up five runs (two earned) in five innings. He allowed six hits, struck out seven and walked two.
After giving up the early home run to Tucker, Scherzer gave up a leadoff walk in the fourth to Tucker, followed by a single by Charlie Culberson. Scherzer struck out the next two batters and looked poised to get out of the jam after getting two strikes on Foltynewicz. But the Braves’ starter hit a slider into the gap in left-center field, scoring two and giving Atlanta a 5-1 cushion.
The Braves tacked on two more in the eighth inning, behind hot-starting Ryan Flaherty. Flaherty doubled home Lane Adams and then hustled from second base to score on a wild pitch from Trevor Gott.
The Nationals’ only run came on an RBI single from Scherzer in the second inning.
Bryce Harper went hitless for Washington, ending a 16-game hitting streak against the Braves, and struck out for the first time this season. Harper popped out with the bases loaded and one out in the ninth inning.
The Nationals return to Washington for their home opener against the New York Mets on Thursday.
Atlanta now heads out of town for three straight road series, beginning in Colorado on Friday.
—Field Level Media