Braves Fall Behind Early, Can’t Catch Nats in 6-4 Loss

WASHINGTON — Trea Turner went 3-for-4 and drove in three runs and Max Scherzer won his fourth start in a row as the Washington Nationals scored five runs in the third inning and beat the Atlanta Braves 6-4 on Monday.

Turner had a double in the first, a two-run homer in the third and a run-scoring single in the fourth. Scherzer (16-7) allowed two earned runs and seven hits with five strikeouts in seven innings and improved to 3-0 against the Braves this year. He leads the majors with 243 strikeouts.

The first-place Nationals (80-57) remained 8 1/2 games ahead of the New York Mets, who won 5-2 earlier Monday against the Reds in Cincinnati, in the National League East. The Braves (54-84) had their season-high six-game winning streak come to an end.

The Nationals scored five runs in the third off starter Ryan Weber (1-1), who was making his first start of the year at the major-league level and sixth overall. Weber gave up five runs in three innings before Jed Bradley took over in the fourth.

Turner, batting in the leadoff spot, crushed a two-run homer to left in the third that was hit 108 miles per hour. Later in the inning Chris Heisey, getting a rare start, belted a three-run homer to nearly the same spot to make it 5-1. It gave Heisey nine homers in 124 at-bats, one of three hitters in the majors to have that many homers in less than 125 trips to the plate.

Atlanta had grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second on an RBI double by Jace Peterson, who also drove in a run with a fielder’s choice in the sixth to make it 6-2.

Rookie Koda Glover pitched a scoreless eighth for the Nationals and Mark Melancon worked the ninth in a non-save situation. Melancon allowed an RBI single to Freddie Freeman (two hits) to make it 6-3 and another run scored on a double play to make it 6-4 before the closer got the last out with a runner on base as he retired Anthony Recker on a flyout.

Nick Markakis had three hits and scored twice for the Braves, who are 2-12 against Washington this year.

Scherzer had gone eight innings in each of his previous two starts and allowed just two runs and five hits in his previous 16 innings of work. He has allowed three hits or less in nine of his 29 starts this year.

Washington, which arrived in the wee hours Monday morning from New York, won with a makeshift lineup that included normal bench players Heisey, Ben Revere, Clint Robinson, rookie Brian Goodwin and backup catcher Jose Lobaton, who chipped in two hits batting in front of Scherzer.

NOTES: Atlanta CF Ender Inciarte had a single in the fifth to extend his hitting streak to 16 games, the longest active streak in the majors. He also singled to lead off the ninth. … Washington LHP Gio Gonzalez (10-9, 4.14 ERA) will start Tuesday against Atlanta RHP Williams Perez (2-2, 4.62). … Braves LHP Ian Krol pitched for the Nationals in 2013 as he made 32 appearances in his rookie season. … Atlanta INF Brandon Snyder was a first-round draft pick by the Baltimore Orioles in 2005 out of Westfield High in Chantilly, Va., about 35 miles from Nationals Park. … Washington, after Monday’s game, had played the fewest home games of any National League team and will play 16 of its last 25 at home. … After playing Sunday night in New York against the Mets, Washington manager Dusty Baker said he got home about 4 a.m. Monday.

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