MLB Wrap: Braves top Nats to snap 8-game skid

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MLB Wrap: Braves top Nats to snap 8-game skid

ATLANTA -- Justin Upton and Freddie Freeman hit two of Atlanta's four homers off Stephen Strasburg, and the Atlanta Braves snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 7-6 victory over the Washington Nationals on Friday night.

Rain delayed the game by 1 hour, 11 minutes in the middle of the sixth inning.

Atlanta, which nearly blew a 7-0 lead, moved within 3 games of NL East-leading Washington. The Nationals, who had won two straight and four of six, have lost 21 of 30 against the Braves.

Strasburg (8-10) gave up two more homers than his previous career high. He allowed seven runs, seven hits and two walks with nine strikeouts in five innings, dropping to 1-3 with a 6.99 ERA in seven starts at Turner Field.

Ervin Santana (11-6) held the Nationals scoreless until the sixth (see full recap).

Eovaldi leads Marlins past Reds
CINCINNATI -- Nathan Eovaldi gave his second straight shutdown performance, holding Cincinnati to five hits over eight shutout innings, and Giancarlo Stanton hit his NL-leading 28th homer on Friday night, powering the Miami Marlins to a 2-1 victory.

The Reds fell to 8-13 since the All-Star break, a slide that has them stranded in fourth place in the NL Central.

Eovaldi (6-6) got his first victory since June 23, ending a streak of three losses and four no-decisions. He was coming off what was his best performance of the second half of the season -- seven innings of one-run ball in a 2-1 win over the Reds last Saturday. He didn't get the decision in that one (see full recap).

Brewers capitalize on errors in win
MILWAUKEE -- Rickie Weeks hit a three-run homer and Gerardo Parra had two hits and two RBIs to lead the Milwaukee Brewers to a 9-3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night.

Weeks hit a 2-2 pitch from Carlos Frias for his homer in the eighth inning that made it 9-3.

The Dodgers went ahead 3-2 in the top of the seventh then Milwaukee capitalized on two errors by reserve shortstop Justin Turner and scored four runs in their half of the inning.

The first run in the seventh came on Martin Maldonado's squeeze bunt that scored Weeks. He bunted the ball toward Brandon League (2-3) who tried to flip it with his glove to catcher Drew Butera, but was late. Pinch-hitter Khris Davis reached on Turner's fielding error to load the bases. Carlos Gomez then reached on Turner's throwing error that allowed Mark Reynolds to score. Parra followed with a two-run single that gave Milwaukee a 6-3 lead (see full recap).

Jeremy Hellickson leaves final start of season with right knee sprain

Jeremy Hellickson leaves final start of season with right knee sprain

Updated: 9:15 p.m.

ATLANTA — Phillies pitcher Jeremy Hellickson left his final start of the season Thursday night with a right knee sprain.

Facing the Atlanta Braves, Hellickson had gotten one out in the fourth inning when he waved for athletic trainer Scott Sheridan to come to the mound. Hellickson left the field with Sheridan by his side.

Hellickson did not allow a run in 3 1/3 innings. He gave up just one hit, walked none and struck out four.

Hellickson finished the season 12-10 with a 3.71 ERA in 32 starts. The Phillies acquired the 29-year-old right-hander in a trade with Arizona last fall. 

Hellickson will become a free agent after the World Series. The Phillies could extend him a one-year salary offer of $17 million. If Hellickson accepts, he would return to the club in 2017. If he rejects the offer and seeks a multi-year deal elsewhere, the Phillies would get a compensatory pick between the first and second rounds of next year's draft. 

Tonight's lineup: Tommy Joseph's last start of the year?

Tonight's lineup: Tommy Joseph's last start of the year?

Tommy Joseph, who has been missing from the lineup lately, starts at first base and bats fourth tonight.

Joseph will most likely be making his final start of the season with Ryan Howard expected to start the final games of the season. Joseph is batting just .235 against the Braves this season, but does have two home runs. The rookie first baseman has 21 home runs and 15 doubles in 104 games during his first season in the majors. 

Howard will be playing what are almost definitely his final games in a Phillies uniform this weekend vs. the Mets.

Maikel Franco bats fifth and plays third base. Franco, who has been hot lately, has three home runs and is batting .320 over his last 25 at-bats. He will look to continue his success against the Braves, as five of his 25 home runs this season have come against them.

Cameron Rupp gets a day off behind the plate and will be replaced by veteran catcher A.J. Ellis. Ellis has exceeded expectations in a short sample since coming over in the Carlos Ruiz trade last month. Ellis is 8 for 28 with a home run and nine RBIs in 10 games with the Phils. He's batting .285, which is astronomically better than his paltry .194 mark with the Dodgers. 

Part of the reason for Ellis' start could be his history against Braves starter Josh Collmenter. He is 4 for 11 with two home runs and four walks against the former Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher.

Here is tonight's lineup:

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Odubel Herrera, CF
4. Tommy Joseph, 1B
5. Maikel Franco, 3B
6. Cody Asche, LF
7. A.J. Ellis, C
8. Aaron Altherr, RF
9. Jeremy Hellickson, P

And for the Braves:

1. Mallex Smith, CF
2. Dansby Swanson, SS
3. Freddie Freeman, 1B
4. Matt Kemp, LF
5. Nick Markakis, RF
6. Anthony Recker, C
7. Jace Peterson, 2B
8. Rio Ruiz, 3B
9. Josh Collmenter, P