The Washington Nationals became one of the only teams this season to solve Cincinnati Reds starter Johnny Cueto, as the Nats scored eight total runs (six earned) against the dreadlocked ace on Tuesday night.
The offense wasn’t steady, however, as it took a seven-run outburst in the sixth inning to knock Cueto out of the game. Prior to that inning, it was really anybody’s game.
Cincinnati opened the scoring in the top of the first off Nats starter Doug Fister. Todd Frazier singled home Skip Schumaker after he doubled as the second batter of the contest. Fister would then work out of trouble, allowing just one run in the frame.
The offenses for both teams would then go quiet until the bottom of the third. After Fister reached base on an error by Ramon Santiago, Denard Span bunted. Santiago then made a throwing error that allowed Fister to score on the play. Span made it all the way to third and scored on Anthony Rendon‘s sacrifice fly one play later.
That would would conclude the scoring yet again until the bottom of the sixth. That’s when the wheels came off for Cueto. Jayson Werth, Tyler Moore, Danny Espinosa and Jose Lobaton recorded RBI singles (Espinosa’s scored two), and Span recorded a two-RBI double. Span had himself a day at the plate, recording five of his team’s nine hits.
A sac fly by Billy Hamilton in the top half of the seventh made the score 9-2 before two more runs scored in the top of the ninth on an RBI groundout by former National Roger Bernadina and another RBI from Hamilton.
Fister was excellent in the win. He notched seven innings of two-run ball with five strikeouts and just one walk. Cueto, on the other hand, was uncharacteristically ineffective. He completed just 5.1 innings, allowing eight runs (six earned) on six strikeouts. His ERA “ballooned” to 1.86 after the outing.