ATLANTA — Dallas Keuchel struggled in his first two starts against the Washington Nationals.
The Atlanta Braves left-hander showed no signs of letting up this time.
"What a great team over there," Keuchel said. "That's a really, really quality lineup. It's probably my favorite to face, just because of how good they are. Some of their role players are just pros."
Keuchel pitched six scoreless innings, Ozzie Albies and Josh Donaldson homered and the streaking Braves picked up another division win over the Nationals with a 4-3 victory Friday night.
The National League East-leading Braves have won eight games in a row, 19 of their 23 past and 12 consecutive at home, dropping Washington nine games back in the standings. It was Atlanta's fourth straight victory and eighth in 11 tries over the Nationals.
Keuchel (7-5) allowed six hits and two walks and struck out three to win his fourth straight start. After posting a 6.10 ERA in his first two outings in the season series, he protected a 2-0 lead in the sixth by striking out slugger Juan Soto with a runner on first, then getting Yan Gomes to ground out with runners on the corners.
"That's what I'm predicated on," said Keuchel, who is 4-0 with a 0.87 ERA over his past five starts. "I make the hitter guess, and I've been guessing right for myself."
Nationals starter Patrick Corbin (11-7) issued six walks — the most in his MLB career — issuing three consecutive passes before striking out Dansby Swanson, the last batter he faced, to end the fifth. Corbin gave up three hits and two runs (one earned) with nine strikeouts.
Washington, which began the four-game series badly needing to make up ground in the division, has lost four of five for the first time since July 30-Aug. 4.
"We're still a confident group here," Corbin said. "We know how hot that they've been, and we'll come back tomorrow and get over this one. We're still in good position to do stuff."
The Braves tacked on runs with Albies' 20th homer in the third and Tyler Flowers' sacrifice fly in the fourth.
Donaldson, the self-proclaimed Bringer of Rain, broke out another umbrella celebration in the dugout after going deep for the 35th time this year, a two-run shot that made it 4-0 in the seventh.
Braves supporters are joining in, too, as umbrellas are popping up around SunTrust Park during his at-bats.
"The fanbase has been remarkable all year long, showing up and supporting it us," Donaldson said. "We're winning a lot of games, so it's fun to be a part of."
Luke Jackson allowed Ryan Zimmerman's fifth homer of the season, a three-run shot that cut the lead to 4-3 in the eighth. Shane Greene earned his first save in three tries with Atlanta and 23rd overall after facing the minimum with two strikeouts in the ninth.
Braves rookie right fielder Austin Riley was recalled from an injury-rehab assignment and went 0-for-3 with a strikeout. He had been sidelined since Aug. 5 with a right knee sprain.
Swanson backhanded a grounder deep in the hole at short and jumped to throw out Trea Turner on a head-first slide at second and end the third.
Washington third baseman Anthony Rendon's fielding error in the fourth allowed Adam Duvall to advance to third and later score on Flowers' fly, but Rendon singled in the eighth to reach safely in his 22nd straight game dating to Aug. 13.
The Nationals were solid in the field in the sixth, when center fielder Michael Taylor threw out Flowers at the plate and right-hander Tanner Rainey picked off pinch-runner Billy Hamilton at second base.
The home winning streak is Atlanta's best since the 2000 team also won 12 in a row. The Braves improved to 40-21 against the NL East this year.