Nats get strong start from Jordan against Braves

Young right-hander allows one hit over three scoreless innings

Nats get strong start from Jordan against Braves

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Todd Cunningham's RBI single capped the Braves' three-run fourth inning that propelled Atlanta's split squad to a 5-2 victory against the Nationals on Saturday afternoon.

After Nationals starter Taylor Jordan surrendered just one hit through three scoreless innings, the Braves started rolling against Evan Meek, who allowed hits to three of the first four batters he faced. Kelly Johnson's double off the center-field wall set the stage for Jonny Gomes to follow with a game-tying, two-run single. Cunningham's single to right scored Gomes with the go-ahead run.

Much like Johnson has enhanced his bid to make the Braves' roster by recording five hits in his past 11 at-bats, left-hander Eric Stults has kept himself in the thick of the rotation battle. Stults surrendered five hits during a solid five-inning effort, surrendering three singles to Jordan, Michael Taylor and Mike Carp during a two-run third inning.

The Braves added a couple of insurance runs in the seventh inning against right-hander Bruce Billings. Jose Constanza, who was brought over from Minor League camp for the day, produced an infield single, stole second base and scored on Cedric Hunter's single to right. Alberto Callaspo scored Hunter with a groundout to the right side.

Up next for the Nationals: The Nats travel to Lakeland, Fla., to face the Tigers at Joker Marchant Stadium on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. ET on Gameday Audio. Stephen Strasburg was scheduled to start in a rematch with Justin Verlander, but he twisted his left ankle on Friday and will be pushed back a few days. He'll be replaced on the mound by A.J. Cole.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.