Ronald Acuna Jr. homered twice, and the visiting Atlanta Braves defeated the Washington Nationals 8-2 on Tuesday night.
Orlando Arcia also homered, and Michael Harris II had two hits for the Braves (97-58), who have won four straight. Atlanta began the night one game behind the National League East-leading New York Mets, and the Miami Marlins later beat New York 6-4 to help the Braves move into a tie for first.
Victor Robles homered for the Nationals (53-101) and Luke Voit had two doubles.
Collin McHugh (3-2) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings for the win. Braves starter Kyle Muller, recalled from Triple-A Gwinnet to make the start, allowed two runs in 4 2/3 innings.
Washington's Paolo Espino (0-8) retired the first 10 Braves before giving up four runs on five hits.
The Nationals jumped on Muller in the first. Lane Thomas led off with a single and was replaced at first base by CJ Abrams on a fielder's choice. Abrams stole second and scored on Voit's first double to make it 1-0.
Robles made it 2-0 when he lined a changeup by Muller to left with two outs in the second inning.
Voit's second double put runners on second and third with two outs in the third inning, but Muller fanned Alex Call.
Dansby Swanson picked up Atlanta's first hit with one out in the fourth, and Matt Olson added an infield single with two outs when Espino couldn't make the play on a slow roller. It proved to be costly, as Harris lined a shot over the head of right fielder Thomas for a triple that tied the score.
Arcia gave the Braves a 3-2 lead in the fifth when his high fly ball to left carried just beyond the wall and Acuna smacked a line-drive homer to left to make it 4-2.
In the sixth, Harris was called out on a close play at first with two outs. Atlanta challenged the play, and the call was overturned. William Contreras singled and Eddie Rosario followed with a two-run double, pushing the lead to 6-2.
Acuna made it 7-2 with a solo shot in the seventh.
--Field Level Media