Strasburg outduels Weber; Nats blank Braves

Strasburg outduels Weber; Nats blank Braves

ATLANTA -- Clint Robinson's solo home run provided Stephen Strasburg all the support he needed as he helped the Nationals snap the Braves' five-game home winning streak with a 3-0 win on Thursday night at Turner Field.

Strasburg scattered six hits over six scoreless innings and benefited from the one-out homer Robinson hit off Braves starter Ryan Weber in the second inning.

"With two strikes, I was looking for something in the strike zone, got it and it went out the park," Robinson said about his ninth homer of the season.

Robinson's solo homer

Though they lost the first two games of this three-game set, the Nationals went 14-5 against Atlanta this season.

Weber recorded a career-high 10 strikeouts and allowed just the one run over seven innings. His effort was not enough for the Braves, who had scored exactly two runs in each of their past five wins at home.

Strasburg goes out aces: In his last five starts, Strasburg pitched 29 innings, allowed two runs and struck out 57 batters. He finished the season with 11 wins and a 3.46 ERA. Health is the reason he is overpowering hitters. More >

"It's health related. He fished as strong as he could possibly finish," manager Matt Williams said.

Strasburg strikes out Swisher

Another unexpected contribution: Given that he had recorded just nine strikeouts in the 21 1/3 career innings he had compiled entering Thursday, Weber certainly opened some eyes as he recorded the 10 strikeouts, including two against Bryce Harper. An elevated 3-2 fastball to Robinson accounted for the only costly mistake made by the 25-year-old right-hander, who allowed two earned runs or less in three of the five starts he made after being promoted from Triple-A Gwinnett in September. More >

Bullpen comes through: The Nationals' bullpen has been much maligned during the second half, but they went on to pitch four shutout innings against Atlanta to make the lead hold up. The first person to close out the game for Washington since Jonathan Papelbon's suspension was Felipe Rivero. More >

"It feels great. This year is kind of progression for me. I was able to get my first win and my first save in the same year. I wasn't expecting that," Rivero said

Rivero's first career save

Short-lived threat: The Braves stranded eight runners and went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. Their most encouraging scoring threat developed when Nick Markakis and Adonis Garcia recorded consecutive one-out singles in the sixth inning. Strasburg quickly ended that threat with consecutive strikeouts against Nick Swisher and Jace Peterson.

Weber joined Mike Minor as the only pitchers in Atlanta Braves history (dating back to 1966) to record a double-digit strikeout game within one of his first five career appearances. Minor recorded 12 strikeouts while making his third career start on Aug. 22, 2010 at Wrigley Field.

Weber's 10th strikeout

The Braves issued a successful challenge when Michael Taylor was ruled safe after he attempted to get back to first base on Weber's pickoff attempt in the fifth inning. The call was overturned when the replay showed Swisher applied the tag just before Taylor touched the bag.

Weber picks off Taylor at first

Nationals: The Nationals travel to New York to play their final three games of the season against the Mets starting Friday night at 7:10 p.m. ET. Left-hander Gio Gonzalez will get the start. In his last start, Gonzalez was cruising against the Phillies on Sunday until the sixth when he struggled to find the strike zone. He earned a no-decision in the Nats' 12-5 loss.

Braves: Julio Teheran will take the mound when Atlanta opens a three-game series against the Cardinals on Friday at 7:35 p.m. ET. Teheran posted a 1.91 ERA over five September starts. This series will provide former Brave Jason Heyward a chance to play in his hometown for the first time since he was traded to St. Louis in Novemeber.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for Bill Ladson is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All theTime. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.