The last time Toronto's Brandon Morrow took the mound, he threw a 3-hit, complete game shutout against the Mets. On Friday, Morrow took to the bump against the Texas Rangers and lasted just 2/3 of an innings, as the Rangers blasted him for six runs off five hits and three walks in the shortest outing of his career, en route to a football-like, 14-3, beating in the opener of a three-game set at Arlington.
With the victory, the Rangers improved their edge in the AL West to six full games over second-place Oakland. Toronto dropped back to fourth place in the AL East, five games behind Baltimore and a 1/2 game behind the Yankees.
The series continues Saturday and Sunday.
Ryan Zimmerman went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and drove in three runs for the Nats, helping send the Braes to their fifth straight loss.
The division standings are incredibly compact, with the Mets and Marlins just 2 1/1 out. Philadelphia is four back, though the Phillies have won three straight and are now 24-23, making the NL East the only division in the majors in which all teams are over .500.
Washington's win over Atlanta came in the first game of their three-game weekend series, which continues Saturday.