A.J. Pierzynski hit two home runs and rookie Matt Wisler threw seven strong innings as the Atlanta Braves beat the Washington Nationals 2-1 on Tuesday night for just their fourth win in 17 tries against the Nats.
Wisler (7-8) picked up the victory, giving up one run while striking out four and walking two.
Rookie Arodys Vizcaino recorded his eighth save in nine chances. With runners on first and second and no outs in the ninth, Ian Desmond bunted into a 2-5-4 double play. Vizcaino then struck out Matt den Dekker to end it.
Tanner Roark (4-7), who rejoined the Nationals’ rotation in September, took the loss. He handled everyone in the Braves’ lineup except Pierzynski, who was 3 for 3, giving up just five hits and two runs in 6 2-3 innings. He struck out four, walked one and hit a batter.
Pierzynski’s second home run came while leading off the seventh and broke a 1-1 tie as he lifted a 3-2 pitch into the right-center field seats. He also hit a solo shot to right field in the fourth. It was just the third multihomer game by a Brave this season — Atlanta is last in the league in home runs.
The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Braves, who avoided their first 100-loss season since 1988 with win No. 63.
Rookie Trea Turner hit his first major league home run to account for the Nationals’ only run. He led off the sixth inning with a drive to left field off Wisler that tied the game 1-1.
Bryce Harper, playing in his first game since being involved in a fight with teammate Jonathan Papelbon in the Nationals dugout Sunday, was 0 for 3 with a walk, including an inning-ending double play in the eighth.
Braves third baseman Hector Olivera, obtained from the Dodgers at the non-waiver trade deadline for Alex Wood, Jim Johnson and Luis Avilan, was hit on the left elbow by a Roark fastball in the fifth inning and left the game.
The Braves have won 20 straight home games decided by one run, a Major League record.
Nationals: 1B Ryan Zimmerman will likely not play in the season’s final week due to an oblique strain. . 3B Yunel Escobar missed the series opener with a sore upper back. He is likely to play the next five games.
Braves: 1B Freddie Freeman (wrist) is day to day, and the Braves may bring him off the bench as a pinch hitter on Thursday and Sunday. . LF Adonis Garcia was in the original lineup but was scratched with a sore back and replaced by Nick Swisher.
Nationals: Jordan Zimmermann (13-9, 3.68) could be making his final start with the Nationals in the second game of the series at Atlanta. Zimmermann will be a free agent at the end of the season. He was drafted by the Nationals in 2007 and has a 70-49 career record, making at least 32 starts each of the past four seasons including this year. He is 3-0 with a 1.82 ERA in five starts vs. the Braves this year.