ATLANTA (AP) — Freddie Freeman and Preston Tucker each hit a three-run homer, and the Atlanta Braves handed Washington its first loss with a 13-6 victory over Bryce Harper and the Nationals on Tuesday night.
Freeman and Tucker each delivered a big blow as Atlanta scored four times in each of the first two innings. Tucker’s drive in the first against A.J. Cole reached the restaurant behind the right-field seats, and Freeman cleared the wall in right-center in the second.
Washington’s three-run first inning marked the fifth time in five games the Nationals handed a lead to their starting pitcher. But Cole (0-1) allowed 10 runs and 10 hits in 3 2/3 innings, perhaps endangering his hold on the No. 5 spot in the rotation.
Ryan Zimmerman hit a two-run homer in the first for Washington, and Cole added his first career homer in the second. Leading off the third, Harper continued his hot streak with his fourth homer in the last three games.
Atlanta ace Julio Teheran was charged with five runs in 2 1/3 innings, ending his streak of 19 consecutive scoreless innings against Washington. The right-hander threw 89-mph fastballs on the homers hit by Zimmerman and Cole.
Shane Carle (1-1) allowed only one hit in 3 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of Teheran.
Ozzie Albies had three hits and scored three times for Atlanta, which lost 8-1 in the series opener Monday. Freeman added a run-scoring single off Enny Romero in the fifth.
The start of the game was delayed 12 minutes by a partial malfunction on one bank of outfield lights. Former Braves outfielder David Justice threw out a ceremonial first pitch.
Braves: 3B Johan Camargo (right oblique strain) is expected to play for Advanced Class A Florida on Thursday. He would be eligible to come off the 10-day disabled list as soon as Wednesday, but the Braves would like to see him play a full nine-inning game before he is activated. … C Kurt Suzuki (bruised right hand) hit and threw before the game but likely won’t play before Friday.
The Braves traded right-hander Akeel Morris to the Los Angeles Angels for a player to be named later or cash. Morris was designated for assignment on Saturday when Atlanta acquired catcher Carlos Perez from the Angels for infielder Ryan Schimpf.
Nationals: RHP Max Scherzer (1-0) is 7-5 with a 3.94 ERA in 17 career games, including 15 starts, against Atlanta entering Wednesday’s final game of the series. He was 2-2 with a 4.41 ERA against the Braves in 2017.
Braves: RHP Mike Foltynewicz (0-0) was 1-2 with a 6.64 ERA in four starts against the Nationals in 2017. He allowed three runs, two earned, against Philadelphia on Friday night.
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