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Gausman returns from IL to lead Braves past Nationals

Kevin Gausman came off the injured list to throw seven strong innings and pace the Atlanta Braves to a 7-1 win over the visiting Washington Nationals on Sunday.

Gausman (3-5) left the game after allowing two leadoff hits in the eighth, one of which led to a run. He gave up five hits and struck out eight. The veteran right-hander had been idle with right foot plantar fasciitis since June 11 and began his rehab assignments on July 5. He earned his first win since May 11.

The win gave the Braves a split of the four-game series.

The losing pitcher was Joe Ross (0-2), who made his first start. Ross pitched 5 1/3 innings and allowed three runs on eight hits, two walks and six strikeouts.

Ross became the team's first starting pitcher to receive a loss since June 15, a stretch of 27 games, which matched a record held by the 1916 New York Giants.

The Braves got two runs in the first inning when Nick Markakis drove a single to right field that scored Dansby Swanson and Freddie Freeman.

Atlanta added a run in the sixth when Josh Donaldson hit a solo homer, his 23rd, to left-center field.

Atlanta left fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. went 2-for-4 and has reached base in 27 consecutive games. He blasted a two-run homer in the eighth, his 24th, off reliever Kyle McGowin.

The Braves scored twice in the seventh inning against reliever Javy Guerra. Acuna walked and came all the way around to score on Freeman's double. Acuna slipped while rounding third, but regained his footing and was able to scamper home. Freeman took third on Victor Robles' throwing error and scored when Donaldson singled up the middle.

The Nationals scored in the eighth. Brian Dozier scored when pinch-hitter Gerardo Parra dropped a single into left in front of Acuna.

Washington may have lost first baseman Ryan Zimmerman to a heel injury suffered while running out a single in the second inning.

--Field Level Media

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