published Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

Nationals beat Braves 4-1 for series split

Washington Nationals' Danny Espinosa (8) is safe at first against Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, left, during their baseball game on Sunday, June 22, 2014, in Washington.
Washington Nationals' Danny Espinosa (8) is safe at first against Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, left, during their baseball game on Sunday, June 22, 2014, in Washington.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

WASHINGTON — Tanner Roark won his fourth straight start, Denard Span had an RBI double and the Washington Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves 4-1 Sunday for a split of the four-game series between NL East rivals.

Span, Danny Espinosa and Adam LaRoche had two hits apiece as Washington won the final two games of the series.

The Nationals improved to 3-7 against Atlanta. They increased their division lead over the Braves to 1 1/2 games.

Roark (7-4) went 5 1-3 innings, allowing a run and four hits.

Craig Stammen came on to end a sixth-inning Braves rally, and Rafael Soriano pitched the ninth for his 17th save. Washington relievers retired all 11 batters they faced.

Freddie Freeman had two hits for Atlanta. Evan Gattis went 0 for 3 to snap his 20-game hitting streak.

Ervin Santana (5-5) went six innings, giving up three runs and six hits. He walked one and struck out nine.

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