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Date of game: 9/8/2014

Recap: Washington vs. Atlanta

Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - Doug Fister tossed seven strong innings and the Washington Nationals posted a 2-1 win over the Atlanta Braves to open a three-game set.

Fister (13-6) allowed just two hits and three walks while striking out three for the Nationals, who now hold a commanding eight-game lead over the Braves for first place in the NL East. Anthony Rendon and Ian Desmond each drove in a run in the win.

"We still have a lot of baseball to play against some really good teams," said Desmond. "We just have to keep our focus up and see how things turn out."

Mike Minor (6-10) allowed both runs on seven hits over six-plus innings for the Braves, who have lost five of seven. Freddie Freeman had two hits and drove in the lone run.

"These guys are not giving up," said Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez. "We got guys who are hitting the ball hard and are making plays in the field, but it's just not happening for us right now."

The Nationals plated a run in the first inning as Rendon singled and moved to third when Adam LaRoche singled two batters later. A base hit to right by Desmond made it a 1-0 game.

Fister allowed a single in the first and second inning, and a walk in the fourth before getting into trouble in the seventh.

He gave up a leadoff walk to Freeman before getting the next two outs, but then walked Tommy La Stella to put the tying run in scoring position. Fister, though, got Andrelton Simmons to hit into a fielder's choice to end the frame.

Washington gave itself an insurance run in the seventh as the team loaded the bases and got a run across when Rendon beat out a potential double-play grounder.

The run proved beneficial as Atlanta got one back in the eighth when Freeman singled home Jose Constanza with two outs, leaving runners at the corners. Craig Stammen, though, retired Justin Upton.

Drew Storen struck out the side in the ninth for his third save of the season.

Game Notes

Atlanta still leads the season series, 9-5 ... Fister had dropped his previous three starts ... Minor has lost his last two starts ... Fister improved to 3-0 in three starts against the Braves ... Minor fell to 3-3 in 11 games against the Nationals.

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