Andrelton Simmons had the go-ahead sac fly in the seventh, and made a stellar defensive play to start the ninth in Atlanta's win.


ATLANTA - The Atlanta Braves, who began the night with the most home runs in the majors, showed they can win playing small ball.

Now Washington's Stephen Strasburg must show his right arm is completely healthy.

Andrelton Simmons hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the seventh inning, then made an eye-popping play to start the ninth as Atlanta beat the Nationals 3-2 on Monday night and ended their four-game losing streak.

"We battled and did the little things right," said Simmons, the second-year shortstop. "We got the bunt down. We got the sacrifice fly to get the run in."

Washington manager Davey Johnson said Strasburg, who was pulled after six innings, has "a little tightness" in his right forearm.

Johnson said Strasburg was seen by a doctor after the game.

"That was a tough one," said Johnson of the loss. "But the main thing I was a little concerned about was Strasburg."

Strasburg, who had lost a career-worst four-straight starts leading up to the game, said he'll be able to make his next scheduled start. He is 1-4 with a 3.13 ERA.

Strasburg appeared to struggle to get comfortable on the mound. Johnson also noticed, saying Strasburg "doesn't look right to me."

"He was shaking his elbow more frequently," Johnson said, adding Strasburg didn't complain "but he was irritable."

Strasburg gave up six hits, four walks and two runs in six innings, striking out eight.

Strasburg insisted he "felt good" but struggled with his control.

Atlanta beat the Nationals for the eighth straight time dating to last season. The Braves swept three games at Washington earlier this month.

Ian Desmond off the ninth with a slow grounder that Simmons charged. Simmons slipped as he fielded the ball and fell on his backside, but somehow fired a strike from the seat of his pants that first baseman Freddie Freeman caught by making a long stretch.

"That's the first time I've ever seen two guys do a split on the same play at the same time," Braves closer Craig Kimbrel said.

Desmond was called out on a close play, and disagreed with the decision.