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The Nationals’ 3.69 mark entering Tuesday, though, is nothing to be ashamed of. The difference in the teams’ records — Atlanta opened the series four games back of NL East-leading Philadelphia but three games ahead of Washington — is clearly offense, something that doesn’t bode well against the Braves’ vaunted pitching.

“Their starters are really good, and their bullpen is very good,” Riggleman said. “When you come in here you’ve just got to try to play mistake-free baseball, and you’ve got to pitch. You have to hold them down because they hold your offense down.”