Braves' losing streak reaches 8 in 3-0 loss to Nationals

WASHINGTON (AP) — Atlanta Braves starter Matt Wisler made only a couple of mistakes against the Washington Nationals on Wednesday night.

That's more than the struggling Braves can tolerate right now.

Tanner Roark pitched seven innings, Stephen Drew and Jayson Werth homered in the fourth and the Nationals defeated the winless Braves 3-0 on Wednesday night.

"It's a humbling game and right now we're being humbled in a lot of different areas," manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

The Braves' problems spread to off the field Wednesday as outfielder Hector Olivera was placed on paid administrative leave by Major League Baseball after he was arrested and charged with assaulting a woman at a hotel outside Washington.

On the field, Atlanta (0-8) is off to its worst start since opening the 1988 season with 10 losses.

"It's going to happen, but it's just that we're at the beginning of the year so everything is magnified," A.J. Pierzynski said of the losing streak. "As a player you want to get off to a good start and as a team you want to get off to a good start and when you don't do that, what happens is you try to win four games in one or you try to get four hits in one at-bat."

The Braves stranded seven base runners, and Freddie Freeman went 0 for 4, striking out twice. He is batting .080.

Roark (1-0), who moved up a day when scheduled starter Stephen Strasburg was scratched due to illness, allowed four hits and three walks.

Jonathan Papelbon pitched the ninth for his fifth save as Washington won its fourth straight.

Washington got three runs and four hits in six innings against Wisler (0-1).

Drew led off the fourth with a homer to right center.

One out later, Daniel Murphy walked and Werth — who was batting .105 entering the game — hit Wisler's first pitch for a towering shot to center for his first home run.

It was the second start in a row in which the fourth inning hurt Wisler, who gave up three to St. Louis in that inning last Friday.

"I've got to start getting through that fourth inning clean," Wisler said. "Just two mistake pitches, both up in the zone."

The Braves have lost 13 straight in Washington, matching their worst stretch on the road against one opponent (a 13-game skid at the Dodgers in 1951-52) since the then-Boston Bees lost 17 straight at the Cubs in 1935-36, according to STATS LLC.

Earlier Wednesday, officers were called to the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Pentagon City, where a woman with visible bruises reported that Olivera had assaulted her, Arlington police spokeswoman Ashley Savage said. Savage said Olivera and the woman are acquainted.


Braves: GM John Coppolella said rookie RHP Dan Winkler was scheduled to undergo surgery on his fractured right elbow Wednesday night and will be out indefinitely. Coppolella said Winkler, who was injured Sunday, had no ligament damage.


With LF Olivera unavailable, the Braves recalled INF Daniel Castro from Triple-A Gwinnett and Kelly Johnson started in LF. "We feel like we can cover it in left field with Johnson, (Drew) Stubbs, (Jeff) Francoeur, and bring Danny up," Gonzalez said. "He's a guy that can play three infield positions (2B, 3B, SS).and help us."


Braves: RHP Julio Teheran (0-1, 4.50) starts in Thursday's series finale. He allowed two runs on five hits to the Nationals over six innings in a no-decision on opening day. He is 3-2 with a 3.59 ERA in 12 career starts vs. Washington.

Nationals: Manager Dusty Baker was uncertain whether Strasburg would be well enough to start Thursday.