Nats set record in blanking Braves

In blanking the Braves, Washington’s rotation broke the previous franchise mark of 39 1/3 set against the Montreal Expos back in 1981.

Thursday night’s achievement also helped Washington make it a Major League Baseball-leading six successive victories, during which run they have outscored their opponents 31-5.

Unsurprisingly, that has left the capital club with a healthy lead at the top of the National League East, although nearest challengers the New York Mets were also victorious on Thursday as they defeated Milwaukee Brewers 2-0 to end a seven-game losing streak.

Oakland continued their improved form as a three-run seventh inning against Texas at Globe Life Park helped them record a fifth consecutive victory, with the 6-3 result sending the Rangers crashing to a fifth straight defeat.

Fans at AT&T Park were treated to a run fest as the San Francisco Giants scored four triples – two from Brandon Belt – in a 13-8 victory over the San Diego Padres.

There were also high-scoring encounters in Detroit, where the visiting Chicago White Sox beat the Tigers 8-7 thanks to Carlos Sanchez’s bases-clearing three-run triple in the 10th, and at Fenway Park, where hosts the Boston Red Sox were beaten 8-6 by the Baltimore Orioles.

The St Louis Cardinals further strengthened their grip at the top of the NL Central with a 5-1 win over the Miami Marlins, with second-placed Pittsburgh losing 5-4 to Cincinnati, for whom Brandon Phillips’ solo home run in the 13th decided a hard-fought encounter that finished in the early hours of Friday morning.

In other games, the Los Angeles Dodgers stayed clear of the Giants in the NL West with a 4-0 win over the Chicago Cubs, the Colorado Rockies beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-4 and American League West pacesetters the Houston Astros were 4-0 victors over the New York Yankees.

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