Yunel Escobar injures hand on Andrelton Simmons slide

Tensions rose Monday between the Braves and Nationals following a hard slide into third base by Atlanta's Andrelton Simmons in the fifth inning. Simmons was safe when he knocked the ball out of Washington third baseman Yunel Escobar's glove but Escobar left the game with a cut on his left hand.

Both dugouts were warned after Washington's Rafael Martin hit Simmons with a pitch to open the bottom of the seventh. Jonny Gomes, who wasn't playing, charged out of Atlanta's dugout and was ejected.

Simmons defended his slide as "going hard." He said he expected a response.

"I kind of knew they were looking at me kind of bad after the slide," Simmons said. "I had it in my mind it might happen."

Escobar, whose hand was swollen, said he expects to miss a day or two.

Asked if he thought Simmons' slide was clean, Nationals manager Matt Williams said "I'm not going to comment on that."

Washington shortstop Ian Desmond said "He didn't slide, basically, at all.

"That kid's a good player, plays with a lot of energy but he's got to be way smarter than that," Desmond said. "That was an ugly play and it looked ugly. I'm sure when he goes back and looks at it, hopefully he learns from it."

Escobar is playing third base because Anthony Rendon has missed the first month with a knee injury.

Rendon appeared to be making strong progress in his recovery before he was held out with fatigue in his minor league rehab assignment on Monday.

Meanwhile, Max Scherzer missed Tuesday night's scheduled start with a sprained thumb but should return in a few days.

"Rough game for us all around,'' Williams said.

The Braves beat Washington 8-4 Monday night to give the Nationals their sixth straight loss. The losing streak is Washington's longest since six straight from July 19-24, 2013, and the Nationals (7-13) fell to last place in the NL East.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.