Justin Upton had just singled to drive in the Braves’ only run and cut the lead to 3-1 when Johnson came up with a chance to tie or put the Braves ahead with a base hit. Replays appeared to show that he indeed checked his swing, but Welke called him out and Johnson was furious.
Home-plate ump Mark Carlson tossed him after Johnson began pointing and shouting at Welke. Johnson, who has become known for his volatile temper, continued to point and shout at Welke all the way to the dugout and from the dugout before heading to the clubhouse.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez came out and argued with Carlson briefly before returning to the dugout. Johnson and Upton’s ejections were the fourth and fifth of the season for the Braves.
The Braves have lost 12 of 19 games and scored three runs or fewer 10 times in that stretch. After going 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position in Saturday’s 3-0 loss, they went 1-for-7 in those situations Sunday. They had two on when Justin Upton grounded out to end the fourth inning, and two on when B.J. Upton struck out to end the fifth inning.
Tanner Roark (6-5) allowed four hits and one run in 5 1/3 innings, with three walks and three strikeouts.
Santana (5-5) gave up six hits, three runs and one walk with nine strikeouts in six innings. He fell to 1-5 with a 5.96 ERA in his past eight starts after going 4-0 with a 1.99 ERA in his first six.
He has four “quality starts” in his past five games, albeit with just the minimum requirement for that classification – three earned runs in six innings — in three of those starts.
The Nationals had a 2-0 lead after sending their first five batters to the plate in the first inning. Anthony Rendon walked with one out, Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche each singled (the latter driving in a run), and Ryan Zimmerman added a sacrifice fly before Santana struck out Ian Desmond.
Santana struck out two consecutive batters in each of the next three scoreless innings, including Werth and Laroche with a runner at third in the third inning.
The Nationals pushed their lead to 3-0 in the fifth inning on a leadoff single by Sandy Leon and Denard Span’s one-out double. They scored again in the eighth on a wild pitch by Luis Avilan, a run charged to rookie reliever Shae Simmons.
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