ATLANTA — Dansby Swanson is emerging as yet another power contributor in a lineup that already leads Major League Baseball in home runs this season.
Swanson kept up his power surge with a two-run homer in Atlanta's four-run sixth inning as the Braves beat the Washington Nationals 5-1 on Thursday afternoon, salvaging a split of the four-game series between division rivals at Truist Park after the visitors won two straight.
The Atlanta-area native also extended his hitting streak to a career-best 12 games. The 27-year-old shortstop has five homers in that stretch, including in back-to-back games against Washington. Thursday's homer landed about halfway up the left-field seats, his 10th this season.
"You forget this kid has some serious power, too," Braves manager Brian Snitker said.
In his sixth MLB season, Swanson is on pace to easily surpass his high mark of 17 homers in 2019.
"He works and he believes," second baseman Ozzie Albies said. "It's a matter of when he starts clicking. He keeps believing in himself and believing in his swing."
Swanson's homer and Albies' double gave each infielder 500 career hits.
Atlanta left-hander Tucker Davidson, recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett for his second start this season, gave up one hit in 5 2/3 innings with five walks and five strikeouts.
"I just think each start I get I feel a little more comfortable," said Davidson, 25, who made his MLB debut last September, when he started against the Boston Red Sox and lasted just 1 2/3 innings in his only appearance of the 2020 season.
Atlanta optioned veteran infielder Johan Camargo to Gwinnett to clear a roster spot for Davidson. Camargo has no hits in 15 at-bats with six strikeouts this season.
Davidson escaped difficulty in the fifth, when Victor Robles led off with a walk and moved to second on Jordy Mercer's single to right field for the Nationals' first hit. Davidson recovered by striking out Alex Avila and Washington starter Patrick Corbin before Trea Turner's groundout ended the inning.
Atlanta had two hits off Corbin (3-5) in five scoreless innings before breaking through against the left-hander in the sixth. Ronald Acuña Jr. started the inning with a single, stole second and scored on Albies' single that skipped past left fielder Josh Harrison for an error. Austin Riley drove in Albies from second base with a double down the right-field line.
Corbin allowed four runs, six hits and two walks in 5 1/3 innings, leaving his ERA at 6.28.
"Obviously we were cruising there until the sixth," Corbin said. "I still felt good and thought I made some pitches. I left the slider up there to Dansby. It was frustrating because I felt really good and wanted to keep us in the game."
Albies drove in two runs with three hits, including a double off Sam Clay in the seventh. The shot off the right-field wall drove in Acuña, who walked.
Josh Tomlin (3-0) threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings after replacing Davidson in the sixth. With two outs in the ninth, Jordy Mercer doubled off Will Smith and scored on Alex Avila's single up the middle.
The Nationals fell to 6-24 this season when scoring no more than three runs, including the two losses in the series against the Braves.
"We've got to get some consistency in our lineup and hit like we're capable of hitting," said Washington manager Dave Martinez, whose team is 23-30 overall. "I know we can hit."
Atlanta's Riley delivered the defensive play of the game in the sixth when he made a diving stop of Ryan Zimmerman's grounder near third base. Riley threw from his knees to Albies at second to force out Harrison.
Atlanta (26-28), which has won seven of 10 in the season series with Washington, remains in the hunt for a fourth straight National League East title despite its inconsistency. The Braves are second in the division standings to the New York Mets.
Right-hander Ian Anderson (4-2, 3.27 ERA) is scheduled to start opposite Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Julio Urias (7-2, 3.61) on Friday to open a three-game series at Truist Park. The Dodgers rallied to beat the Braves in seven games in the NL Championship Series last fall before going on to win the World Series.