The Washington Nationals won three of five games played from June 30 through to July 4, helping them maintain a 4.5 game lead and first place of the National League East division with a 45-36 overall record. Washington lost its three-game road series, 2-1, against the Braves in Atlanta, but bounced back to win two straight home games over the San Francisco Giants during the weekend.

June 30-July 2: Nationals Lose Series in Atlanta

Ian Desmond

Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond (20) throws to first to retire Atlanta braves’ Andrelton Simmons in the seventh inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 30, 2015, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Washington starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann had one of his best performances of the season in a 6-1 victory over Atlanta in Game One. Zimmermann pitched nearly eight full innings, giving up just six hits with six strikeouts and zero runs allowed. Danny Espinosa led the Nationals on offense with a team-high three hits, including an RBI; Clint Robinson also had two RBI’s off a home run, his third of the season.

That would be the lone win of the series for Washington as the Braves shut down the Nationals’ offense in Game Two to the tune of a 4-1 win for Atlanta. Washington was limited to just five hits in the game, and the pitching wasn’t much better for the Nationals. Starting pitcher Doug Fister allowed seven hits and four earned runs through six innings pitched.

Washington recorded just five hits total, again, in a 2-1 loss in Game Three. Ace pitcher Max Scherzer got the start for Washington and pitched the entire game, tossing nine strikeouts along the way. But he also gave up two earned runs, one more than his own team’s was able to produce in the loss.

July 3-4: Washington Takes Care of Business against Giants

The offensive woes carried over for the Nationals as they returned to the District to host the Giants. Washington had just three hits total in Game One on Friday. Fortunately for Nats’ fans, one of those three hits was a two-run homer by Robinson that lifted Washington to a 2-1 win.

Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) runs home to score during a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants at Nationals Park, Saturday, July 4, 2015, in Washington. The Nationals won 9-3. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Nationals starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez was strong on the mound for Washington, allowing just five hits and one run through seven innings pitched. Relief pitcher Drew Storen eventually closed out the game for his 24th save of the season.

Washington finally snapped its batting funk July 4 in a 9-3 victory over the Giants. Even more impressive was the Nationals’ offensive boost coming against San Francisco’s ace pitcher, Madison Bumgarner, perhaps the best pitcher in MLB. Washington recorded eight hits and six runs against Bumgarner, including a home run by Bryce Harper, his 25th of the season.

Nationals relief pitcher Tanner Roark got the win after taking over for starter Stephen Strasburg, who left the game early in the fourth inning after suffering from tightness in his left side.

Next: Following Sunday night’s game against the Giants, Washington will host the Cincinnati Reds in a three-game series July 6-8. The Nationals then head up the beltway to take on the Baltimore Orioles in a three-game road series, July 10-12.