The Washington Nationals won four of six games played through Sept. 8-13, cutting their magic number to just six wins needed to claim the National League East division title. Washington beat the Atlanta Braves, two games to one, in a three-game home series and then traveled to New York to beat the Mets, two games to one, in the first three games of a four-game road series. The Nationals currently holds a nine-and-a-half game lead over the NL East division and also carried the top record in the entire National League at 84-63.

Sept. 8-10:Nationals Win Series, 2-1, over Braves

Anthony Rendon, Christian Bethancourt

Washington Nationals’ Anthony Rendon (6) slides safely into home as Atlanta Braves catcher Christian Bethancourt jumps to make the catch while home plate umpire Alan Porter watches, during the fourth inning of a baseball game at Nationals Park, Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

It didn’t come easy but Washington was able to survive with a 2-1 win over their hated division rivals, the Braves, in Game One of their three game series on Sept. 8. Starting pitcher Doug Fister was excellent from the mound, pitching seven innings while allowing a mere two hits and zero runs. The game remained interesting as Washington took their 2-0 lead into the eight inning, when the Braves eventually cut the score to 2-1 with an RBI hit from Braves’ first baseman Freddie Freeman. But Nationals relief pitcher Drew Storen took over in the ninth inning and closed out the game for his third save of the season.

Washington won Game Two of the series with a 6-4 victory on Sept. 9. Jordan Zimmermann got the start and gave up six hits and four runs, including a home run, through six innings pitched. But the Nationals were red hot offensively early in the game and scored four runs in the opening inning that helped them pull off the win. First baseman Adam LaRoche led the team with two hits and two RBI’s; catcher Wilson Ramos also had two hits with one RBI.

Washington, unfortunately, wasn’t able to complete the series sweep as Atlanta took a win in Game Three, 6-2. Stephen Strasburg started as pitcher for the Nationals and had eight strikeouts through six innings pitched. But he also allowed three earned runs, including a home run given up to Braves’ center fielder B.J. Upton in the fifth inning. Relief pitcher Jerry Blevins wasn’t any better out of the bullpen, giving up three more runs in the seventh inning.

Sept. 11-13: Nationals Win Two of Three over Mets in New York

Adam LaRoche

Washington Nationals’ Adam LaRoche hits a two-run home run off of New York Mets starting pitcher Bartolo Colon in the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

Washington returned to the winner’s circle on Sept. 11 with a 6-2 win over the Mets in Game One of their four game series. Tanner Roak started the game and lasted into the seventh inning, allowing two runs and seven hits. But the Nationals scored far more runs then allowed, including two home runs by LaRoche and third baseman Anthony Rendon. LaRoche had three RBI and Rendon had two RBI.

The Mets responded with a 4-3 win over Washington in Game Two of the series on Sept. 12. Starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez had seven strikeouts but surrendered four runs within the first five innings. Washington scored three runs early in the game, but both teams went scoreless through the last four innings and the Mets held on to the one-run victory.

Scoring wouldn’t be a problem for Washington in Game Three of the series as the Nationals beat the Mets, 10-3, on Sept. 13. Washington was blazing from the plate with 15 hits total as a team. Rendon led the way with four hits, Bryce Harper added three hits and a home run and Denard Span also went the yard. Fister got the start and victory, lasting six innings, while giving up three runs and five hits.

Next-up: Washington will close out its four-game series with the Mets on Sunday, followed by a three-game road series with the Braves in Atlanta Sept. 15-17. The Nationals then head to Miami to rake on the Marlins in a four-game road series Sept. 18-21.