ATLANTA — Like the rest of the Washington Nationals' season, Jordan Zimmermann's likely farewell from the team ended in disappointment.
Zimmermann (13-10) took the loss in a 2-0 defeat to the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday night. He will enter free agency at the end of the season after seven years with the Nationals.
"I wish we'd gotten the win tonight, but that's the way baseball goes. We'll see what this offseason brings," Zimmermann said. "I've been thinking about (his final start) the last couple days, actually. I may not be around these guys any more next year."
Rookie Williams Perez (7-6) threw six innings and the Braves' bullpen threw three perfect innings in recording Atlanta's first shutout since June 21.
A.J. Pierzynski had an RBI single in the first inning one night after hitting two home runs, and Michael Bourn singled home the Braves' other run in the second.
Rookie Arodys Vizcaino earned his 10th save and second in two nights.
Zimmermann was drafted by the Nationals in 2007 and is 70-50 in 178 career starts.
"When I first got drafted we were at the bottom," he said. "We rose to the top and made the playoffs a few times. I've enjoyed every day. This year didn't go the way we wanted it to go, but we're still battling, we're still grinding. Every game counts and everyone's giving their all."
Ian Desmond, who made his Nationals debut in 2009 with Zimmermann and has been teammates with him since, said Zimmermann's value has been his consistency. Zimmermann has made at least 32 starts each of the last four years.
"He's been not only a workhorse and loyal but he's been an effective front of the rotation starter since he's been here," Desmond said. "We played together in Double A and I've watched his progression. I've seen him blossom into an unbelievable pitcher. He's the same guy no matter what. That's not easy to do at this level, to be that consistent, He's gold, man."
The Nationals had chances against Perez, putting runners in scoring position in four of the first six innings, but they could not come through with the key hit. They are 1 for 18 without an RBI with runners in scoring position in the first two games of the series.
Bryce Harper, who is battling for the National League batting title, went 0 for 4 and saw his average drop to .331. He entered the game hitting .334 while Miami's Dee Gordon was at .332.
"I think he's fine," Nationals manager Matt Williams said. "One swing of the bat tomorrow he's right back out of it (valley) again. He's had a great season."
The Braves have won five straight at Turner Field — scoring two runs in each of the wins — just weeks after setting a franchise record with 12 consecutive home losses.
Nationals: 3B Yunel Escobar was scratched from the lineup with back spasms. He is day-to-day.
Braves: 1B Freddie Freeman will not start again this season due to a sore wrist, but he will be available to pinch-hit. Freeman said tests have indicated surgery is not necessary at this time. Freeman entered as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning and made a nice scoop of a throw from SS Andrelton Simmons to record the first out. ... 3B Hector Olivera, who was removed from Tuesday's game after getting hit by a pitch on the left elbow, returned to the lineup. He was 0 for 4.
Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (10-7, 3.63) will make his 23rd and final start of the season in the series finale. Strasburg threw five shutout innings against the Braves during a 3-1 win on June 23. He is 5-7 with a 4.01 ERA in his career vs. Atlanta.
Braves: Rookie Ryan Weber (0-2, 5.91) will make his fifth career start since getting called up from Triple-A Gwinnett on Sept. 8. He gave up seven runs in two innings in his last start against Miami.