WASHINGTON (AP) - Bryce Harper homered for the third straight day, and the Washington Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves 8-4 on Sunday to pull within four games of NL East-leading New York heading into a big series against the Mets.
Jayson Werth hit a three-run homer in Washington's five-run second, helping the Nationals to their fifth straight win and seventh in nine games overall. Yunel Escobar had three hits and scored two runs.
Five Washington relievers combined for 4 2-3 innings of two-hit ball, with Felipe Rivero (2-1) picking up the win.
The Nationals will send ace Max Scherzer to the mound for the opener of their three-game set against New York on Monday. Jonathon Niese goes for the visiting Mets.