WASHINGTON (AP) — The Braves knew they were entering a pitcher's duel. However, Atlanta starter Julio Teheran never found the comfortable rhythm Washington counterpart Doug Fister settled in to.
Fister pitched eight shutout innings and outlasted Teheran as the Nationals beat the Braves 3-0 victory on Saturday night.
Atlanta had moved into first place in the NL East after continuing their dominance over Washington by winning the first two of the four-game series. They fell a half-game behind the Nationals due to miscommunication between Teheran and catcher Evan Gattis, and the brilliance of Fister.
Atlanta had won five straight against the Nationals, seven of eight this season, and 20 of 27 since the start of the 2013 campaign.
Teheran (6-5) struck out a season-high 10 batters. He allowed three runs and seven hits in seven innings.
Fister (6-2) gave up five hits — three over his final seven innings — with three strikeouts and one walk.
Gattis extended his major-league leading hitting streak to 20 games with a sixth-inning single.
Rafael Soriano pitched the ninth for his 16th save.
"We knew we had a battle going on and he's one of the best guys," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said of Fister. "He had all of his pitches working."
What the Braves didn't have working was cohesion between pitcher and catcher. While Fister worked quickly, Teheran went the deliberate route, though not by design.
"We were going multiple signs, and I think a couple of times (Julio) wasn't quick enough to get back to what he wanted," Gonzalez said. "We've been doing it for awhile but sometimes it takes a little longer to get back to what he wanted after the shake off."
Anthony Rendon had three hits including an RBI single in the third that gave Washington its first lead of the series. His run-scoring double in the seventh made it 3-0. Ryan Zimmerman also drove in a run.