Whether the Braves score a bunch of runs early or scratch out a few runs late, and whether they limit the Nationals to one run or allow eight, here’s what most recent games between the two teams have in common: The Braves win.

B.J. Upton homered in a four-run first inning and Alex Wood wiggled out of jams in four consecutive innings of a 6-3 win over the Nationals Saturday night at Turner Field, clinching the series and moving the Braves into a first-place tie with Washington in the National League East.

Freddie Freeman had three hits including an eighth-inning homer for the Braves, who’ve won 21 of the past 28 games against the Nationals, including nine of 10 in the past two Aprils. They’ll go for a sweep and the division lead in Sunday’s series finale.

“It’s nice to have two (wins) under your belt, and have a chance tomorrow to get greedy and see what we can do,” said manager Fredi Gonzalez, whose Braves have won seven of the past eight three-game series against the Nationals, and will send Aaron Harang to the mound Sunday against Gio Gonzalez to finish a six-game homestand.

Washington got more bad news late Saturday when X-rays revealed Ryan Zimmerman has a fractured right thumb that will sidelined the third baseman four to six weeks. He was hurt when he dove back to second base trying (unsuccessfully) to avoid a pickoff throw by Wood to shortstop Andrelton Simmons for the second out of the fifth inning.

That was a criticial out for Wood, who then struck out Adam LaRoche with a runner at third to preserve a 4-1 lead.

“Oh, huge,” said Wood (2-1), who was charged with six hits, one run and three walks in five innings, and had eight strikeouts. “I think I was coming out of the game after LaRoche. So it worked for me. I was able to get through five because of it, and I’m definitely glad it happened.’

He left early due to a high pitch count (102), but got the win and improved to 5-3 with a 3.12 ERA in 14 career starts, including a 1.57 ERA in four starts against the Nationals. Gonzalez said LaRoche would’ve been the last batter Wood faced, regardless. Because he got the out and got through five innings, he put himself in position for the decision.

Craig Kimbrel gave up an infield single in the ninth before converting his league-leading fifth save.

After Anthony Rendon started the game with a home run, the Braves answered with four runs in the bottom of the first inning on five hits, including Upton’s first homer and two-out RBI doubles by Justin Upton and Evan Gattis, who matched a career high with three hits.

“It’s been feeling better and better every day,” said B.J. Upton, who hear boos earlier in the homestand, but only supportive cheers Saturday when he had two hits and lined out in another at-bat. “Obviously started off kind of rough (this season), but it’s still early. Each day I’ve been feeling a little more comfortable at the plate.”

The Nationals put two runners on base with less than two outs in every inning from the second through fifth — without scoring a single run in that period. Washington’s leadoff man reached base in four of the first five innings, but the only one that scored was Rendon on his homer.

Damage control is nothing new to Wood, who had a .179 opponents’ average with runners in scoring position in his 33 career games (13 starts) before Saturday. Still, this was taking things to the extreme.

“Somehow I managed to get through five, don’t ask me how,” Wood said. “I don’t know if I could get through that way again, but we made it through.”