"That's the main thing for me, going out with confidence and conviction." -- John Lannan, on yesterday's five good innings.

THE RESULT:  John Lannan thinks he's close to returning to his top form.  He turned in a rather Lannan-esque performance Thursday, limiting the Atlanta Braves to two runs over 5 1/3 innings as the Washington Nationals salvaged the final game of the series, winning 6-2 before 15,593 at Turner Field.

The Nats record stands at 52-69 with 41 games to play.

Lannan (W, 5-5, 5.13) spread out seven hits an a walk, striking out five on the occasion.  Both runs came in his final inning of work, as he just can't quite get over the hump of the sixth inning yet.  He surrendered back-to-back singles to Omar Infante and Jason Heyward before striking out Martin Prado looking. 

But the next batter, notorious lefty-killer Matt Diaz, ripped a double to right field to plate both runs.

After Brian McCann walked, manager Jim Riggleman relieved Lannan with Joel Peralta, who got Alex Gonzalez to pop up to first, and Diaz inexplicably was caught off second for the inning-ending double play.

Atlanta would not score again.

The Nats got a solo home run from Michael Morse, an RBI double from Roger Bernadina and a run-scoring single from Ryan Zimmerman before Atlanta's outburst.  Willie Harris closed the scoring with a two-run homer off reliever Kyle Farnsworth in the ninth inning.

Wilson Ramos made his Nationals debut, going 0-for-4 with a couple of good at bats, and made a nice play throwing out the lead runner at third base on a sacrifice attempt.

THE GOOD:  Nyjer Morgan went 2-for-5 with two runs and a steal in his first game back off the DL.

THE BAD:  Adam Kennedy went 0-for-3, but did walk once and scored a run.

THE UGLY:  Tyler Clippard's 8th inning.  He was masterful in the seventh, striking out the side.  When he came back out for the eighth?  Not so much, as he walked two and could not get through the inning.

THE STATS:  10 Ks, 3 BBs, 3-for-5 with RISP, 4 LOB.

NEXT GAME:  Today in Philadelphia against the Phillies.  Jason Marquis (0-5, 14.33) tries to find his touch against Roy Halladay (15-8, 2.24). Game time is 7:05 pm from Citizen's Bank Park.