Williams, Nationals hold down weak-hitting Braves 3-1 for rare 4-game series win

ATLANTA — Trevor Williams combined with four relievers on a five-hitter and Washington beat Atlanta 3-1 on Thursday night for the Nationals’ first four-game series win over the Braves since 2016.

Williams (5-0) gave up only four hits and one run in 5 2/3 innings. It marked the seventh start in his last eight outings he has allowed no more than one earned run. The right-hander lowered his ERA to 2.22.

The Nationals won three of four for their first four-game series win against Atlanta since Aug. 18-21, 2016 — the year before the Braves moved to Truist Park. The Braves have won the season series against the Nationals in each of the last six years, overlapping Atlanta’s six-year run of NL East titles.

Washington closer Kyle Finnegan walked Ozzie Albies to open the ninth. Albies stole second, but Finnegan retired the next three batters for his 15th save.

Joey Meneses gave Washington a 2-0 lead over Ray Kerr (1-2) with a two-run double in a three-run third inning.

Atlanta is 12-14 in May and has scored three or fewer runs in 11 of the losses.

The Nationals entered the game with 89 stolen bases, the most in the majors, and added to that total with three in the third inning. Jesse Winker and Jacob Young each stole third base with Kerr on the mound — each time without drawing a throw.

Young and Lane Thomas scored on the double by Meneses, who was jammed on a fastball but managed to push the grounder past Matt Olson at first base. Winker added a run-scoring double.

Kerr, making his second career start, allowed three runs on five hits and two walks and a career-high seven strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings. The left-hander has allowed a combined eight runs in 7 2/3 innings in his two starts.

Jarred Kelenic tripled past a diving Eddie Rosario in left field and scored on a sacrifice fly by Michael Harris for the Braves’ only run off Williams.


Nationals: SS CJ Abrams, who had three strikeouts, remained in the game after a swing and miss and grabbing his lower back in the ninth. … Young started after being hit by a pitch on his batting helmet on Wednesday night.

Braves: Ronald Acuña Jr. said his surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee will be performed on Tuesday in Los Angeles by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who also repaired Acuña’s right ACL in 2021. Acuña suffered the season-ending injury on Sunday. … LHP A.J. Minter (left hip inflammation) was placed on the 15-day injured list. RHP Jimmy Herget was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett.


Nationals: LHP Patrick Corbin (1-5, 6.12) will start when Washington opens a three-game series at Cleveland on Friday night against RHP Tanner Bibee (3-1, 3.99).

Braves: RHP Reynaldo López (2-2, 1.75), originally scheduled to start on Thursday night, was given an extra day to rest and shifted to Friday night’s game against Oakland LHP JP Sears (4-3, 3.88). “We’re going to give the guys an extra day every chance we get,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said.


AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

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