Nationals' Offense Returns To Halt Losing Streak

Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Craig Stammen pitched into the eighth inning to win for the first time in 10 starts and the Nationals picked up a rare road triumph, beating Atlanta, 7-2, in the middle installment of a three-game series.

Stammen (2-2), who was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse, made his first start since June 6. The right-hander, who had been 0-2 over his previous nine big league starts, allowed five hits and two runs over 7 1/3 innings. His only other victory this season came April 19 against Colorado.

Stephen Strasburg couldn't give the Nationals a win Monday, but Stammen, a 12th-round draft pick in 2005, helped the team snap a five-game skid overall and win for just the third time in its last 14 contests.

Alberto Gonzalez went 4-for-4 with an RBI and Josh Willingham belted a two-run homer for the Nationals, who ended a seven-game road skid and have just two victories in their last 14 away games. Ryan Zimmermantacked on a two-run double.

Derek Lowe (9-6) was charged with eight hits and four runs over 5 2/3 innings, a much different result than Monday night, when Tim Hudson pitched seven innings in a 5-0 final.

Martin Prado had two hits and drove in a run for the NL East-leading Braves, who lost for just the third time in their last 20 home contests.

Prado tripled to center to drive in Gregor Blanco in the third inning, but the Nationals went ahead with three runs in the fifth. Cristian Guzman walked and Gonzalez singled. One out later, Nyjer Morgan's base hit tied the game. With two down, Zimmerman stroked a ground-rule double to the right-field corner to bring in a pair.

Stammen escaped a bases-loaded jam in the bottom half when Melky Cabrera grounded out to end the frame.

Willingham scored on a Gonzalez base hit in the sixth and then crushed his 14th homer of the year the following inning, connecting off Peter Moylan with two outs.

Stammen's sacrifice fly to center scored Guzman in the top of the eighth for a 7-1 margin before Cabrera doubled in Prado in Atlanta's half of the inning.

The Braves activated outfielder Matt Diaz from the 15-day disabled list. He struck out pinch-hitting leading off the bottom of the eighth...Atlanta RHP Jair Jurrjens (strained left hamstring) will return to the starting rotation Wednesday. J.D. Martin starts on the mound for Washington...Braves rookie outfielder Jason Heyward, who is on the 15-day disabled list due to a deep bone bruise in his left thumb, said he won't try to play in the All-Star Game in two weeks if chosen...Braves third baseman Chipper Jones went 0-for-4 and had his hitting streak snapped at 11 games...Prado's 110 hits are best in the majors.

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