April 4, 2018 / 3:36 AM / in 5 months

Nationals stumble at Atlanta, take first loss

Freddie Freeman and Preston Tucker each hit three-run home runs, and the Atlanta Braves handed the visiting Washington Nationals their first loss of the season, 13-6 on Tuesday at SunTrust Park.

Atlanta second baseman Ozzie Albies had three hits, scored three runs and made a diving catch on a liner up the middle that turned into an inning-ending double play and extinguished a Washington threat in the seventh.

Freeman went 2-for-3 with four RBIs, and Nick Markakis had three hits and an RBI for the Braves.

Atlanta touched up Washington starter A.J. Cole (0-1) for 10 runs on 10 hits in 3 2/3 innings. Before being replaced, Cole did connect for his first career home run in the second inning, one of three long balls surrendered by Atlanta starter Julio Teheran.

Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman also homered for the Nationals (4-1).

Teheran exited in the third inning after allowing five runs on six hits. He entered the game with 19 consecutive scoreless innings against the Nationals, but Washington got to him quickly Tuesday.

Harper had an RBI groundout and Zimmerman hit a two-run home run in the first inning to give the Nationals a 3-0 lead. Washington has scored in the first inning in each of its five games this season.

The Braves (3-2) answered in the bottom half of the first. Markakis doubled home Albies, and Tucker followed with a three-run blast to right field that gave Atlanta a 4-3 lead. It was the first time this season that the Nationals trailed.

While Teheran struggled, four Braves relievers — Shane Carle (1-0), Sam Freeman, A.J. Minter and Dan Winkler — combined to allow just one run, which was unearned, in 5 2/3 innings.

Max Scherzer will make his second start of the season in Wednesday’s series finale. The Nationals ace pitched six shutout innings and struck out 10 Cincinnati Reds in an opening win. The Braves will counter with right-hander Mike Foltynewicz.

—Field Level Media

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