(SportsNetwork.com) - The Washington Nationals will try to keep their hold on first place in the National League East on Sunday afternoon with a split of their four-game series with the rival Atlanta Braves.
The Nationals lost the first two encounters of this series, but bounced back to win 3-0 on Saturday and move a half-game up on the Braves for the top spot in the division.
Doug Fister's gem got them there as he tossed eight scoreless innings of five- hit ball. All five hits were singles and he also walked a batter while winning for the sixth time in seven starts.
"The mentality that you go out there with every day is 'I'm going to control what I can control,'" said Fister.
Anthony Rendon went 3-for-4 with two RBI and Jose Lobaton scored a pair of runs for the Nationals.
Atlanta starter Julio Teheran was reached for three runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out a season-high 10 batters.
"He just made a few mistakes. He was himself, he pitched well," Atlanta outfielder Justin Upton said of Teheran. "He only gave up three runs. That was just too many for the night. We didn't do our jobs on offense."
Upton went 0-for-4 in his first start in four games, having been held out of the starting lineup due to constant dizziness experienced during the week. The outfielder learned on Friday that the ailment was being caused by sinus pressure.
Though Upton went hitless in his return, Evan Gattis stretched his hitting streak to 20 straight games with a single in the sixth frame. He is batting .386 with eight homers and 21 RBI over the run, but Atlanta still lost for the fourth time in six games.
The Braves will start Ervin Santana in today's finale and he is 5-4 with a 4.12 earned run average on the season.
Though it came in a third quality start over his last four appearances, the right-hander lost his second outing in a row on Tuesday versus Philadelphia. Santana yielded four runs -- three earned -- on eight hits and three walks over six innings of a 5-2 setback, one that came five days after he allowed six runs over 6 1/3 frames in Colorado.
Santana, 31, has a 3.67 ERA in four previous starts versus the Nationals without a decision and faces them for the first time this year.
Tanner Roark goes for a fourth straight winning start today for the Nationals, a string of victories that followed a tough-luck span of three consecutive losing starts.
It wasn't his prettiest outing of the year, but the right-handed Roark yielded a run on seven hits and two walks in five innings of a 6-5 triumph over Houston on Tuesday. It did mark his eighth straight start giving up three runs or fewer and he has allowed one or zero runs in five of those.
The 27-year-old is 6-4 with a 2.85 ERA on the season and faces the Braves for the first time in 2014. In four previous encounters, including two starts, Roark is 1-0 with a 2.55 ERA against them.
Washington is only 2-7 against Atlanta this season, but is 11-5-2 in series play against the Braves in DC since April 29, 2008.