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“He took what the ump gave him. He was putting it where Glavine used to put it and where Maddux used to put it.”

In one stretch early in the game, five straight strikeouts for Lowe came on called third strikes.

“He spotted the ball more,” said Washington’s Ryan Zimmerman, who had two hits. “He mixed it up. He threw on both sides of the plate. He was definitely on his game. … When he’s hot like that, nibbling on the corners like that, it’s difficult to get to him.”

Added Desmond, who had four strikeouts: “He pitched me a little different than last time.”

Wagner struck out the side in the ninth to complete a game that took just 2 hours, 13 minutes.

The Nationals have lost six straight, matching their longest skid of the season.

Lowe ended August with three straight losses but has recovered with two strong wins in September. He gave up only one run in six innings of a 9-3 win at Pittsburgh on Wednesday before earning his first win in four 2010 starts against the Nationals.

“That’s as good as I’ve ever seen Derek,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said. “My gosh, he threw nothing but strikes. “I can’t say enough about his performance tonight. That looks good for the remainder (of the season).”

Washington’s 29-year-old rookie, Yunesky Maya (0-2), endured a four-run second to last six innings. He gave up five hits and four runs with three walks and two strikeouts.

“I was really happy with how he competed,” Riggleman said. “I thought he did fine. He gave us a chance.”

Ross Detwiler followed Maya with two scoreless innings as the Braves were held to five hits.

Maya trailed 4-0 following a long second inning in which he gave up three hits, walked two batters, hit a batter with a pitch and was called for two balks.

Maya walked McCann and Derrek Lee to open the inning and was called for two balks by plate umpire Dan Iassogna, allowing McCann to score. Nate McLouth’s double to right drove in Lee. Matt Diaz added a run-scoring triple to the right-field corner and scored on Omar Infante’s single.

Maya, a right-hander from Cuba, was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse on Sept. 7.

NOTES: It was Atlanta’s eighth shutout this season. … Lowe had 11 strikeouts for the Dodgers against the Angels on June 15, 2007, for his previous career high. His previous season high was seven against Philadelphia on June 2. … The Nationals fell to 25-48 on the road. They also lost six straight from June 15-20.

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