By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Nats tee off on Braves
braves crop
Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper (34) celebrates his two-run homer with Yunel Escobar, right, during the sixth inning of a Friday's game at Nationals Park in Washington. Harper and Danny Espinosa each hit two home runs as the Nationals left the ballpark five times in their 9-2 victory. - photo by Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Bryce Harper hit two more home runs, giving him five in two games, and Danny Espinosa also connected twice to power the Washington Nationals past theAtlanta Braves 9-2 on Friday night.

Harper drove in five runs with three hits. On Wednesday, he homered his first three times up and drove in five runs.

The Nationals were off Thursday, and returned to action with their eighth win in 10 games. Harper has 10 home runs this season, along with those 10 RBIs in his last two games.

Jayson Werth added a solo home run as the Nationals backed Gio Gonzalez (3-2). Gonzalez pitched seven solid innings after going 0-7 in his previous eight starts against Atlanta.

Harper hit a two-run homer in the sixth off Eric Stults (1-3), giving Washington a 3-2 lead. Harper hit a three-run drive deep into the right-center field stands in the eighth against Williams Perez, who was making his major league debut.

After giving up runs in the first and third innings, Gonzalez settled in and retired 11 straight batters at one stretch. He allowed five hits overall while striking out eight and walking one.

Freddie Freeman continued his success against Washington, doubling twice and driving in a run. He is 10 for 17 vs. the Nationals this year and 42 for 91 over the past two seasons.

Freeman's double in the first set up Jonny Gomes' sacrifice fly. Freeman doubled home a run in the third.

Werth made it 2-1 in the fourth with his first homer of the season.

The 23-year-old Perez, who began playing in the minors with Atlanta in 2009, recorded only one out while giving up four runs on two hits and two walks.


Nationals: Werth returned after missing two games with a sore shoulder, the lingering effect of offseason surgery.


Braves: Julio Tehran (3-1, 3.82) was spotted a 9-2 lead April 28 against the Nationals. He wound up with a no-decision after allowing seven runs - three earned - and 10 hits over 5 2-3 innings as Washington rallied for a 13-12 win.

Nationals: Doug Fister (2-1, 2.61) looks to win again at Nationals Park. Since joining the team prior to last season, he's 9-2 with a 1.98 ERA at home.