The Atlanta Braves came into Washington hopeful that they would be able to put a dent in the first-place Nationals' lead in the NL East. They will leave town after Wednesday night's game hoping the deficit isn't unmanageable.
Stephen Strasburg struck out 10 and allowed one run in six innings for his 15th win in one of his final starts of the season as Washington beat Atlanta 4-1 on Tuesday night.
The loss puts Atlanta seven games back in the division.
''It's not the end of the world. We've got 40 games left or whatever it is,'' Atlanta starter Paul Maholm said.
''We've got to take care of our business and come in tomorrow and expect to win. As long as we play well, we win series from here on out, I think the last couple weeks will be fun.''
Facing Strasburg wasn't fun. He gave up just four hits in six innings, walking one, and he weathered a 51-minute rain delay. It didn't faze him.
''I thought he got better,'' Braves catcher Brian McCann said.
''He had his stuff going tonigh...