The Atlanta Braves beat the Washington Nationals 5-4 on Thursday night in the first outing of a four-game National League East set at Nationals Park in Washington DC, their final series before the MLB All-Star break.

The Braves hit three home runs en route to the victory. Dansby Swanson got it all started with a two-run shot during the top of the first inning.

The Nats got on the board with a solo home run from Josh Bell in the bottom of that inning and added another run on a ground out by Maikel Franco in the second to tie the game up at 2-2. Michael Harris II clubbed a two-run homer in the top of the fifth to give the Braves a 4-2 lead.

Matt Olson added insurance with a solo home run during the top of the sixth.

The Nats scored a pair of runs on an RBI single by Nelson Cruz in the eighth and a solo home run from Maikel Franco in the ninth, but the Braves held on for the win, again, by a final score of 5-4.

Kyle Wright was credited with the win for Atlanta after surrendering two runs and seven hits, walking one, and striking out four over seven innings. Kenley Jansen picked up the save. Anibal Sanchez, a former Braves pitcher, took the loss for DC.

The Braves improved to 54-37 on the ’22 season and are still in second place of the NL East, still two and a half games back from the first place New York Mets (who blanked the Chicago Cubs on Thursday night). The Nationals are in last place at 30-61.

Game two in the four-game series between the Braves and the Nats in DC is slated for this evening at 7:05 pm. Listen on WLAQ 1410 AM/96.9 FM; air time is 5:50 pm.