By Michael Marzzacco

Nationals rookie pitcher Reynaldo Lopez dominated in his fourth start of the season last night at Turner Field in Atlanta. The 22 year old threw 11 strikeouts over seven innings to help lead Washington to an 8-2 win.

The Nats started the scoring early in the first inning. Two runs crossed the plate after a pop-up by Antony Rendon to the left field warning track was dropped by left fielder Matt Kemp, allowing Trea Turner and Bryce Harper to score.

After the Braves cut the deficit to 2-1 in the fourth, the Nats got a run back in the top of the fifth. Jayson Werth doubled home Pedro Severino. For Werth, he tied a franchise record (Nats/Montreal Expos history combined) with his 46th consecutive game reaching base. In the sixth, the Braves once again pushed a run across to make it a 3-2 game.

In the eighth the Nats broke the game wide open scoring five runs. With the bases loaded, Rendon got hit by a pitch to score Werth. Clint Robinson followed with a single into right field that scored Daniel Murphy. With the bases still full, Danny Espinosa drew a walk that scored Harper. With Severino up, Rendon scored on a passed ball by Braves catcher Tyler Flowers. Then Turner hit a sac fly that scored Robinson for the game’s final run.

The Nats and Braves will continue their three game series tonight at 7:35 p.m. It’ll be Tanner Roark (13-6, 2.81 ERA) taking the mound for the Nats while the Braves will counter with Julio Teheran (3-9, 2.81 ERA).

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