SPORTS

Ankiel's grand slam sends Nats to 4th straight win

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Rick Ankiel kept up his sudden power surge, hitting a grand slam off Derek Lowe that sent the Washington Nationals over the Atlanta Braves 9-3 Tuesday night for their fourth straight win.

(Photo: Associated Press)

The Nationals have their longest winning streak since Davey Johnson became manager on June 27. Atlanta has lost three straight.

Ankiel connected for his sixth home run of the season. He homered twice Monday night against the Braves. Ankiel's shot highlighted a five-run burst in the fourth inning against Lowe (6-10) that put Washington ahead 6-3.

Ian Desmond hit a two-run homer in the fifth that finished Lowe. The Braves righty lost his third straight and gave up eight runs - seven earned - the most he had allowed since June 7, 2010.

Desmond drove in three runs and Michael Morse hit his 18th homer for the Nationals.

Dan Uggla (24 games) and Freddie Freeman (17) extended their hitting streaks for the Braves. Those are the two longest current streaks in the majors.

John Lannan (8-7) struck out a season-high eight and improved to 3-0 against Atlanta this year. He gave up three runs and nine hits in 6 2-3 innings.

Desmond's sacrifice fly put the Nationals ahead in the second.

Atlanta scored twice in the third on Michael Bourn's RBI double and Martin Prado's infield out, and took a 3-1 lead in the fourth on Jorge Constanza's RBI single.

Ankiel's second career slam and an RBI grounder by Lannan gave Washington the lead in the fourth. Desmond's fourth home run made it 8-3.

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