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Paul Maholm held the Nationals to two earned runs over six innings.
Hitting lowlight: Just when you think the Nationals lineup might get something going, they revert back into their old habits. Despite an early outpouring against Maholm, they went nearly silent at the plate for the rest of the afternoon. Tyler Moore's RBI single in the top of the second tied the game 2-2. After that, the Nationals went a collective 1-for-26 against Atlanta pitching. The only hit during that span: Ian Desmond's solo homer in the sixth. This has been a disturbing trend all season (and really, dating back to last season). They'll score a bunch of runs early, then completely shut it down after that. On the bright side: Jayson Werth hit a pair of three-run homers today in his rehab finale at Class A Potomac. He's slated to come off the DL on Tuesday.
Pitching lowlight: Coming off an impressive (if brief) major-league debut on Tuesday, Karns was hoping to take a step forward this time, and put himself in line to earn a win. He couldn't quite do it. Despite offering glimpses of what he can be, the right-hander gave up some very hard-hit balls to the Braves, including Ramiro Pena's two-run homer in the first and B.J. Upton's solo blast in the second. That's four homers now allowed by Karns in only nine big-league innings, a somewhat disturbing trend. Also disturbing: Karns has really had to work to reach the middle innings. He needed 85 pitches to complete 4 1/3 innings in his debut and needed 88 to get through 4 2/3 innings today. Has the 25-year-old earned another start against the Twins? Perhaps, though he's going to need to show more next time to warrant a longer stay.
Key stat: Duke has now faced 101 batters this season and allowed 42 of them to safely reach base.
Up next: The Nationals have Monday off, then will open a six-game homestand against the Mets and Twins. Jayson Werth is expected to come off the DL for Tuesday's 7:05 p.m. game, with Jordan Zimmermann facing New York's Jeremy Hefner at Nationals Park.