WASHINGTON — The Atlanta Braves rolled into town on a hot streak, and the Washington Nationals were unable to do anything to cool down the reigning World Series champions.
Austin Riley homered twice, rookie pitcher Spencer Strider allowed one hit over 5 2/3 innings, and the Braves won their 14th straight game, 8-2 over the last-place Nationals in a matchup of National League East Division rivals Wednesday night.
Orlando Arcia, starting at second base in place of the injured Ozzie Albies, had a homer, three singles and a walk for the Braves, who went deep 13 times while outscoring the Nationals 27-11 in sweeping the three-game series.
"Everything seems to be clicking right now for us, top to bottom," Strider said. "Unfortunately we've got Ozzie's injury, but Arcia stepped right in and looked like he's been playing every day, so he's picked up Ozzie big time and we're in good shape right now."
Since Albies left Monday's game with a broken left foot, Arcia is 7-for-9 with four RBIs and three runs scored.
The Braves matched their 14-game run from July 26 to Aug. 9, 2013, and are one win away from tying the franchise's post-1900 record, a 15-game streak from April 16 to May 2, 2000.
Surging Atlanta pulled within four games of the NL East-leading Mets, who lost 10-2 to the Milwaukee Brewers. The Braves are the four-time reigning champions in the division.
Riley, who also had a single, hit two-run blasts in the seventh and eighth innings, giving him 18 homers this year. He went 0-for-7 in the first two games at Washington.
"I told him, 'It's like, man, you got angry there all of a sudden,'" Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "We just know what he's capable of. He's learned to hang with himself and take each at-bat as a separate entity, and he does a great job of that."
Strider (3-2) didn't allow a hit until Luis Garcia homered to right-center field with two outs in the fifth. The right-hander was lifted with two outs in the sixth and a runner on first, who later scored.
Making his 15th appearance of the season and fourth start, Strider gave up two runs on one hit with a career-high 11 strikeouts and two walks on 106 pitches. He would have been happy to sacrifice strikeouts for innings.
"Thought I had everything I needed to go deep in the game," he said, but noted he also had "a lot of two-strike counts and struggled to put some guys away. Where I needed to conserve pitches, I wasn't able to."
Washington starter Erick Fedde (4-5) went 5 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits.
With the Braves leading 1-0 in the fourth, Atlanta rookie center fielder Michael Harris II extended his hitting streak to eight games with a two-run single.
After the Nationals pulled within 3-2 in the sixth, Dansby Swanson walked to open the seventh and Riley followed with his first homer of the game to make it 5-2.
The Braves dominated the series despite leadoff man Ronald Acuña Jr. going 1-for-15 and cleanup hitter Matt Olson finishing 3-for-15.
On the injury front, Albies had surgery to stabilize the fracture in his left foot and Snitker said right-handed pitcher Collin McHugh, placed on the COVID-19 injured list on June 7, will rejoin the team this weekend in Chicago.
The Braves are off Thursday before completing their road trip with three games against the Cubs.