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Braves beat Nats 2-1, lead NL East by 15 1-2 games

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CHARLES ODUM | August 18, 2013 05:27 PM EST | AP

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ATLANTA — Julio Teheran pitched around trouble through six scoreless innings and a tired Atlanta bullpen held on as the Braves beat the Washington Nationals 2-1 on Sunday.

The Braves won two of three in the series and stretched their NL East lead over the second-place Nationals to 15 1/2 games.

Both teams exhausted their bullpens in the Nationals' 8-7 win in 15 innings on Saturday night.

Four Atlanta relievers made it through the final three innings, preserving the win for Teheran (10-6).

Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his 39th save. After Denard Span reached on an infield hit, Kimbrel struck out Anthony Rendon and Bryce Harper to end the game.

Freddie Freeman and Chris Johnson hit RBI singles off Gio Gonzalez (7-6) in the first. Gonzalez gave up only two hits and no runs in the next six innings.

Teheran had baserunners reach second in five of his six innings. He retired the Nationals in order only in the fourth.

The right-hander gave up five hits with three walks as the Nationals stranded nine runners in his six innings.

There was no sign of the tensions between the teams that began when both benches emptied after Teheran hit Harper in a Braves win at Washington on Aug. 6.

Braves pitchers hit Harper with two pitches in Atlanta's win on Friday night. Washington's Stephen Strasburg hit Justin Upton in the first inning on Saturday night and was ejected after throwing two straight pitches behind Andrelton Simmons' back.

There was no reaction from the umpires or the Nationals on Sunday when Teheran, who often pitches inside, hit Rendon to open the third. Teheran leads the National League with 13 hit batters.

Harper followed with a single but Teheran pitched out of trouble.

The Braves scored twice in the first. B.J. Upton walked and stole second. Rookie second baseman Phil Gosselin, making his first start in the majors, reached on a bunt single for his first hit. Freeman and Johnson singled home runs.

The Nationals broke through for a seventh-inning run off Scott Downs and David Carpenter, with Jayson Werth hitting an RBI single.

NOTES: Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez rested Simmons, Brian McCann, Jason Heyward and Justin Upton. Heyward and Simmons entered the game as defensive replacements. ... The start of the game was delayed by rain for 39 minutes. ... Werth started following pregame concerns about tightness in his lower back. His seventh-inning single extended his hitting streak to 10 games. ... The Braves adjusted their rotation for their upcoming series at the Mets after being forced to use starter Kris Medlen in relief Saturday night. RHP Brandon Beachy will take Medlen's scheduled start on Tuesday night in New York. LHP Alex Wood also moves up one day for Wednesday's start. ... Saturday night's game lasted 5 hours, 29 minutes, the longest in the Nationals' nine-year history. ... Braves LHP Paul Maholm, on the 15-day DL with a bruised left wrist, allowed four hits and one run in 5 2-3 innings in a rehab start for Class A Rome on Saturday.