From bad to worse: Braves’ skid hits 12

Credit: Alex Brandon

Credit: Alex Brandon

The Nationals’ Bryce Harper hit a home run for the third consecutive game and Washington swept the visiting Braves, winning 8-4 on Sunday afternoon to hand Atlanta its 12th consecutive loss.

Rookie starter Manny Banuelos recorded six outs and was charged with seven runs (six earned) for the Braves.

The Braves' current losing streak is their longest since they lost 12 in a row from Oct. 3, 1987 to April 16, 1988. Their last losing streak of 12-or-more games in one season was April 23 to May 11, 1977, when they dropped a franchise-record 17 in a row.

A Harper fan

Count the Braves' Freddie Freeman among those wowed by Nationals slugger Bryce Harper.

In his fourth full season, Harper entered Sunday leading the league in batting average (.337), on-base percentage (.469), slugging percentage (.647) and runs (100), and was second in walks (106) and third in home runs and doubles (33).

“He’s 23, and I think he’s going to be one of the greatest players of all time if he keeps going on this pace,” Freeman said.

Actually, Harper is 22. He doesn’t turn 23 until Oct. 16.

Lookahead if you dare

The Braves now head to Philadelphia and last place in the NL East will be on the line in the three-game series. The Braves have lost 12 in a row; the Phillies four in a row. And the Braves are one game ahead of Philadelphia in the standings.