For the second night in a row, the Nationals got on the scoreboard against Atlanta in the top of the first, but - for the second night a row - the Braves came storming back.
Derek Lowe gave up three hits and a walk in the first inning, but managed to limit the damage to one run when Nyjer Morgan was caught stealing and Josh Willingham grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Atlanta got things going in the bottom of the second when Garret Anderson and Adam LaRoche hit a pair of solo shots to take the lead away from Washington. The Nationals tied it back up in the top of the seventh inning when a Ronnie Belliard single drove in Elijah Dukes.
The seventh was the last inning that Lowe would work. He continued to struggle with his control of the strike zone, walking four batters in seven innings pitched. Still, Lowe had the ground ball machine in full effect, generating 11 of outs via the grounder.
In the bottom of the seventh, Adam LaRoche quickly helped the Braves retake the lead on the strength of his second solo homerun of the game. Atlanta pulled away in the bottom of the eight with a three-run inning that got kick-started by a Martin Prado solo shot. LaRoche and Greg Norton walked in the Braves' final two runs later that inning.
LaRoche continues to be scorching hot, with 13 hits in 35 at bats, including three homeruns, since he was acquired from Boston.
The Rockies and Phillies both won tonight (the latter in Pedro Martinez' triumphant debut), so the Braves don't gain any ground in the wild card or the NL East with tonight's win.