Justin Upton and Andrelton Simmons homered to lead Paul Maholm and the Atlanta Braves past the Washington Nationals 9-0 Sunday for a three-game sweep and their ninth straight win.
Upton hit his seventh home run of the season to lead off the top of the third inning for the Braves, who took a 7-0 lead after Simmons hit a three-run shot off Gio Gonzalez (1-1) later in the inning.
Atlanta jumped on Gonzalez in the very first inning, as B.J. Upton led off the game with a double and scored three batters later on a double by Evan Gattis. That put runners on second and third, and after Dan Uggla struck out for the second out of the inning, Chris Johnson, who went 4-for-5 in the game, singled to center to plate Gattis and Justin Upton and make it 3-0, Atlanta.
The Braves added their final two runs in the top of the sixth inning on a double by Jason Hayward and a sacrifice fly for Gattis. By that time, Gonzalez had departed after giving up seven earned runs on seven hits and two home runs, striking out three and walking three along the way.
In sweeping their NL East rivals and compiling the best record in the major leagues, Atlanta (11-1) has outscored the opposition 62-23 and built a 20-6 advantage in home runs.
The Braves have swept three straight series (Cubs, Miami and Washington) for the first time since April 2000, when they swept four in a row (Phillies, Pirates, Dodgers, and Padres).
Maholm (3-0) pitched two-hit ball into the eighth inning. Luis Avilan and Cory Gearrin worked the final 1.1 innings of scoreless relief.
The home sweep was the first suffered by the Nationals since June 15-17, 2012, when they lost three straight to the New York Yankees.