ATLANTA — Rookie Matt Wisler wasn’t too worried about walking so many hitters in his third major league start.
With his slider and power sinker working, the walks were almost the only way Washington batters could reach base.
Wisler allowed one hit in 5 1-3 scoreless innings and the Atlanta Braves beat the Nationals 4-1 on Wednesday night to end a streak of nine straight losses in the season series.
A.J. Pierzynski and Juan Uribe hit back-to-back homers in Atlanta’s four-run fourth inning. Wisler had a run-scoring single in the big fourth inning, his first career hit.
Wisler (2-1) overcame five walks in his rematch against Nationals right-hander Doug Fister (3-4), who allowed four runs in six innings.
“The last time I was leaving balls up in the zone,” Wisler said. “Tonight I finally got down in the zone. That’s what helped me a lot with a couple ground balls. … My misses were not like up in the zone and over the plate.”
Wisler and five relievers combined to allow only four hits. Jason Grilli had two strikeouts in a perfect ninth for his 22nd save.
The Braves beat Washington for the first time since the opening game of the season series on April 27 — also against Fister.
“It felt good,” Wisler said. “I think we’ve struggled against these guys for a while so to get a good win, hopefully our confidence rolls into tomorrow and we can get some winning going.”
Pierzynski hit a two-run homer to right field off Fister before Uribe followed with his shot over the wall in center.
“Other than that, he pitched pretty well,” Nationals manager Matt Williams said of Fister. “He kept us in the game. We were able to extend him into the sixth inning, so that’s good. We just didn’t have enough offense tonight to help him out.”
The start of the game was delayed 2 hours, 9 minutes by rain.
The Nationals had runners on first and third with one out in the third and sixth innings. Each time the inning ended with a double-play grounder — from Yunel Escobar in the third and Wilson Ramos in the sixth.
Denard Span’s single off Nick Masset drove in Ian Desmond in the seventh. With two outs and runners on first and third, David Aardsma struck out Danny Espinosa.
The Nationals took only their second loss in their last 11 games, a span that included sweeps of the Braves and Pittsburgh Pirates.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez announced after the game LHP Manny Banuelos will be recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett to start on Thursday night. Rookie RHP Ryan Kelly was optioned to Gwinnett.
HUSTLE FOR HARPER
Williams said before the game he spoke with OF Bryce Harper about not running hard to first base on a fly ball in Tuesday night’s win.
“I spoke to him today,” Williams said. “It’s important for him to be passionate about the way he plays. In every aspect. … He’ll be out there again today and I guarantee if he hits one in the gap he’ll go hard.”
Nationals: 1B Ryan Zimmerman (left foot plantar fasciitis) hit and fielded grounders but still has some soreness and wasn’t ready to run the bases as he continued his rehab with Class A Potomac. “He’s progressing. It’s still there,” Williams said.
Braves: 1B Freddie Freeman (bruised right wrist) is scheduled for more treatment on Thursday. Freeman is eligible to come off the 15-day DL on Friday but is expected to need more recovery time.
Nationals: RHP Max Scherzer will face the Braves for the first time since joining the Nationals. Scherzer was 1-2 in six games, including four starts, against the Braves while pitching for Arizona and Detroit.
Braves: Banuelos, a former Yankees prospect, was 6-2 with a 2.29 ERA at Gwinnett. He came to Atlanta in the offseason deal that sent RHP David Carpenter and LHP Chasen Shreve to the Yankees.