WASHINGTON (AP) — Juan Soto and Victor Robles homered, and the Washington Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves 7-3 on Sunday to end a nine-game losing streak.

Soto, the only Washington All-Star who could be exchanged at the end of the month, hit a solo shot in the eighth inning to extend his on-base streak to a career-high 26 games.

“It’s been a long time, but finally we made it,” Soto said. “He feels good.”

The Nationals haven’t lost 10 straight since an 11-game skid that spanned the 2008 and 2009 seasons. At 31-63, they have the worst record of the majors in the All-Star break.

Washington hadn’t scored five points in a game since an 8-7 loss to Pittsburgh on June 29, a loss that triggered the Nationals’ 1-15 slide Sunday.

“There’s still a lot of things we need to clean up to really improve and compete every day and play consistently,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said. “We’re going to work on those things a lot in the next half, like we did. I’m happy to come into the break with a big win.

The Nationals did much of their damage against starter Spencer Strider (4-3) in the second. Ehire Adrianza doubled a two-run single down the middle. Robles followed with his second homer of the season, a left fly that just sailed into the visitor’s bullpen.

Adrianza added an RBI groundout in the fourth against Strider, who allowed five runs over four innings while striking out four.

Maikel Franco’s RBI single in the sixth made it 6-3.

Steve Cishek (1-2) pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings, blocking the potential attempt at second in the fourth inning.

After a doubleheader on Wednesday rumbled its rotation, Washington opted for a bullpen game. Erasmo Ramirez started and worked three scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out two.

“He really picked us up,” Martinez said. “We didn’t expect him to go three innings and he gave us three good innings. When he came in after the (third) round and he looked at me and joked and said, “I think I’ve got two more,” and I said, “You do it for true?” and he replies, ‘No.’

Jordan Weems came in fourth and allowed four hits on five batters, including RBI doubles from Matt Olson and Adam Duvall, before giving in to Cishek.

“These bullpen games are tough where they keep the guys on the bike,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. “It’s not a lasting thing, but when you have to do it, it’s sometimes difficult when you have different looks on guys. They did a good job.


Nationals: DH Nelson Cruz (close quadruple) was out of the lineup for the second game in a row. … Washington recalled RHP Cory Abbott from Triple-A Rochester and took him on as an option after the game. Abbott did not pitch on Sunday. The Nationals opted for RHP Hunter Harvey in Rochester ahead of the game. Harvey was 0-0 with a 3.18 ERA in seven games. … RHP Victor Arano (inflamed left knee) pitched a scoreless inning with two strikeouts on Saturday in his second rehab appearance for Rochester.


Snitker will lead the National League in Tuesday’s All-Star Game in Los Angeles due to the Braves’ participation in last year’s World Series. His son, Houston Astros hitting coach Troy Snitker, will be on the AL staff.

“It’s one of those things, just like the World Series: you’re never guaranteed to do that again,” Snitker said. “We’re going to suck it up and enjoy it all. It’s a great experience for my family to do something like this as a family. Few people can do that. »


Braves: Atlanta returns home from the All-Star break to begin a three-game Friday series against the Los Angeles Angels. The Braves and Angels haven’t met since 2017.

Nationals: Washington opens a three-game series Friday at Arizona. The teams shared a four-game set at Nationals Park in April.


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