The short-handed Nationals, though, will try to keep gaining ground in the division by winning their second straight over the host Braves on Saturday night.
Washington (28-27) received a scare in its 3-2 victory Friday when Strasburg left after two innings with a strained right oblique. The ace is expected to head back to the nation's capital to have his side examined.
Strasburg has gone 2-1 with a 0.96 ERA in his last four starts."We seem to be having all kinds of problems, but we'll get through it," manager Davey Johnson said. "Hopefully Stras won't miss too much time."
Outfielder Bryce Harper was already out of the lineup Friday for the fifth straight game with bursitis in his left knee. Harper, hitting .287 with a team-high 12 homers and 23 RBIs, is unlikely to play in this series.
"We've got to try to figure out whether he needs more rest or what we have to do to get him by that," said Johnson.
Johnson's club could certainly use Harper's bat, as it's hit .239 while dropping eight of 13. The Nationals, however, moved to within 4 1/2 games of the Braves (32-22) with Friday's win.
Washington will send another outstanding pitcher to the mound Saturday, though it hasn't provided much support for Gio Gonzalez (3-3, 3.90 ERA) of late. The left-hander has gotten eight runs while going 0-1 over his last four starts despite a 2.36 ERA.
He yielded four runs and four walks over 5 2-3 innings in his shortest outing since April on Monday, a 6-2 loss to Baltimore.
Gonzalez hasn't pitched well against the Braves, going 2-4 with a 6.75 ERA in six career starts. He's given up 12 runs, eight walks and 14 hits - three homers - over nine innings in two losses to Atlanta this season.
Andrelton Simmons homered off Gonzalez in both of those meetings, and he's 4 for 9 with four RBIs lifetime against him. Simmons has gone 10 for 27 in his last six games overall.
Evan Gattis , 7 for 14 with two homers in his last four contests, is 3 for 5 with two doubles and three RBIs against Gonzalez.
Since winning eight in a row, the Braves have lost four of six. Their scheduled starter for this game is also struggling.
Tim Hudson (4-4, 5.37) has gone 0-3 with an 8.69 ERA in his last four starts. The right-hander, though, is 3-0 with a 2.97 ERA in five starts at home this season.
He's also pitched very well versus Washington, going 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA in two starts in 2013 and 16-5 with a 2.55 ERA in 28 career matchups.
Hudson gave up one run and three hits over seven innings to beat Gonzalez and the Nationals 8-1 in Atlanta on April 30. Gonzalez lasted four innings and allowed five runs with five walks, though he recorded nine of his 12 outs via strikeout.
Freddie Freeman went 3 for 5 with three RBIs in that contest and homered off Strasburg on Friday. He's 11 for 22 with two homers in his last five games.
Washington's Denard Span , who went 3 for 4 with two triples in the series opener, has gone 6 for 8 with four extra-base hits in his last two games at Turner Field.
|May 31, 2013||Stephen Strasburg||Day-to-Day||Strained right oblique|
|May 26, 2013||Bryce Harper||Day-to-Day||Left game - Sore left knee|
|May 24, 2013||Danny Espinosa||Day-to-Day||Broken bone in right wrist|
|May 20, 2013||Ryan Mattheus||15-Day DL||Fractured right hand|
|May 20, 2013||Ryan Mattheus||Day-to-Day||Broken right hand|
|May 16, 2013||Ross Detwiler||15-Day DL||Right back muscle strain|
|May 29, 2013||Kris Medlen||Day-to-Day||Left game - left upper calf contusion|
|May 18, 2013||Eric O'Flaherty||15-Day DL||Left elbow surgery - out for season|
|May 13, 2013||B.J. Upton||Day-to-Day||Left game - Left shoulder contusion|
|May 12, 2013||Jordan Walden||15-Day DL||Right shoulder inflammation|
|May 12, 2013||Jordan Walden||15-Day DL||Right shoulder inflammation|
|May 05, 2013||Juan Francisco||Day-to-Day||Sprained right ankle|
ATLANTA (AP) -- B.J. Upton returned to the lineup and had two hits, including a game-ending single in the 10th inning that lifted the Atlanta Braves to a 2-1 win over the Washington Nationals on Saturday night.
Upton, hitting only .145 at the start of the game, had been held out of two straight starts by manager Fredi Gonzalez, who hoped the rest would jumpstart the center fielder.
And Upton came through with a single to right field off Henry Rodriguez (0-1) to drive in Jordan Schafer from second base. A sliding Schafer narrowly beat the throw from Roger Bernadina in right field, and Upton then was mobbed by his teammates between first base and second base.
Rodriguez walked Evan Gattis to open the 10th. Schafer replaced Gattis as a pinch-runner. Ramiro Pena popped out trying to bunt a high fastball, but Schafer stole second and Uggla drew a walk before Upton ended the game.
Jordan Walden (2-1) pitched a perfect 10th for the Braves.
The Nationals couldn't score in the ninth after having runners on second and third with no outs against Braves closer Craig Kimbrel .
With the game tied 1-all, Ryan Zimmerman led off the ninth with a soft single that fell just beyond the reach of shortstop Andrelton Simmons , who was running toward the outfield. Zimmerman moved to third when Adam LaRoche followed with a double to center field.
Kimbrel struck out Ian Desmond before Roger Bernadina hit a grounder to third baseman Chris Johnson , who threw out Zimmerman at the plate, and LaRoche advanced to third. Danny Espinosa popped out to left fielder Justin Upton to end the inning.
Tim Hudson and Gio Gonzalez delivered similarly strong starts. Hudson gave up one unearned run on three hits in 7 1-3 innings. Gonzalez gave up one run on three hits and one walk in seven innings.
Hudson is 1-4 with a 7.67 ERA in six road starts and 3-0 with a 2.39 ERA in six home starts. He is 0-3 with two no-decisions since his last win on May 5.
Fredi Gonzalez was ejected by home plate umpire Larry Vanover in the fourth inning, apparently for complaining from the dugout after a 2-2 pitch to Zimmerman was called a ball.
Uggla walked to lead off the third for the Braves. Uggla moved to third on B.J. Upton's single that bounced off the glove of Gio Gonzalez into center field and scored on Simmons' groundout to Desmond at shortstop.
The Nationals tied the game with an unearned run in the fourth. Steve Lombardozzi led off with a grounder to Freddie Freeman . The first baseman threw over the head of Hudson, who was running to take the throw at the bag, for an error. Lombardozzi hustled to third base on Zimmerman's slow groundout and scored on Desmond's single to centerfield.
Lombardozzi started in left field in the Nationals' patchwork outfield. Bryce Harper was placed on the 15-day disabled list with bursitis in his left knee. Harper hurt his knee when he crashed into the wall in a May 13 game at the Dodgers and had missed the last five games.
Each team wore Negro League throwback uniforms for the Braves' first Heritage Weekend to honor Atlanta's role in the civil rights movement. The Braves wore Atlanta Black Crackers uniforms - complete with red and blue striped high socks - and the Nationals wore the Homestead Grays uniforms.
NOTES: The ejection was the first of the season for Fredi Gonzalez. ... The Nationals called up RHP Erik Davis from Triple-A Syracuse. ... Attendance was 46,910. Hip-hop group Run-D.M.C. played a postgame concert. ... Players from the Negro Leagues, including some in wheelchairs, were recognized before the game. ... The series ends on Sunday when Braves LHP Paul Maholm faces Washington RHP Nathan Karns. Maholm has a 2.38 ERA in three starts against Washington since joining the Braves.