ATLANTA — Sean Newcomb pitched seven strong innings for his sixth straight win, leading the Atlanta Braves back into first place with a 4-2 victory over the Washington Nationals on Thursday night.

In the start of a four-game series between the top teams in the NL East, the Braves snapped Washington’s six-game winning streak and reclaimed first place by a half-game.

Newcomb (6-1) was roughed up by the Nationals in his season debut April 2. Since then, he’s 6-0 with a sparkling 2.16 ERA in 10 starts.

CUBS 5, METS 1: Jose Quintana pitched six shutout innings, Ben Zobrist hit a two-run homer and Chicago beat the banged-up Mets at New York in the opener of a four-game series.

Zobrist also doubled and singled in the leadoff spot as the Cubs won for the fourth time in five games. Chicago improved to 2-8 at Citi Field since the 2015 NL Championship Series.

PHILLIES 2, DODGERS 1: Jorge Alfaro drove in two runs, Aaron Nola pitched seven innings of two-hit ball and Philadelphia won at Los Angeles, spoiling Clayton Kershaw’s first start in almost a month.

Hitting out of the No. 8 spot in the Phillies’ lineup, Alfaro delivered an RBI single in the second inning against Kershaw and had an RBI double off reliever Josh Fields in the seventh.

Kershaw had been on the disabled list with left biceps tendinitis.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

TIGERS 6, ANGELS 2: Victor Reyes hit a three-run triple in a five-run first to help Detroit beat the visiting Angels.

Detroit starter Ryan Carpenter was on pace to pick up his first career victory, but left the game after four innings with an oblique strain.

Warwick Saupold (3-1) replaced Carpenter and pitched two perfect innings. Carpenter gave up one run and five hits.

ATHLETICS 7, RAYS 3: Daniel Mengden allowed three runs over eight innings and Oakland avoided a four-game sweep at home.

Matt Olson, Matt Chapman and Matt Joyce all homered, providing some much-needed punch to an offense that had sputtered since Khris Davis went on the disabled list 10 days earlier.

Davis was activated before the game and doubled and scored as part of a three-run second to help Oakland end a three-game losing streak.

NOTES

RED SOX: Dustin Pedroia was scratched from Boston’s game against the Astros on Thursday night because of a sore left knee.

He was scratched about 20 minutes before first pitch and the team said he is day-to-day.

TWINS: First baseman Joe Mauer has not been able to shake the concussion-like symptoms he has experienced since hurting his neck three weeks ago.

Mauer’s return hit another road block while working out Thursday, when continued sensitivity to light and noise forced him to back off.

PHILLIES: Slugger Rhys Hoskins was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a broken jaw that the team said likely will not need a surgical procedure.

MARINERS: Seattle activated second baseman Dee Gordon from the 10-day DL before Thursday night’s game against the Rangers and had him back in the leadoff spot.

CARDINALS: Alex Reyes’ return to the team after a 20-month absence following Tommy John surgery lasted just four innings. The 23-year-old righty was put on the 10-day DL because of a strained latissimus dorsi muscle in his right side.