Jul 19, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Tanner Roark (57) throws during the third inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Tanner Roark, Washington Nationals Take Down Cincinnati Reds

 

Tanner Roark and Alfredo Simon weren’t thought to be much coming into the 2014 season. The two squared off on Friday night, and it was actually a duel met with high expectations.

Roark entered the game with nine wins and has been a rock for the Washington Nationals as the No. 5 starter. Simon, entered with 12 wins and represented the Cincinnati Reds in the 2014 All-Star Game. Those who were expecting a low-scoring game definitely got one.

Three full innings went by with relative ease for both hurlers. Simon left baserunners on in each of the first three innings, but he was successful in keeping the Nats off the board—that is, until the top of the fourth.

Bryce Harper led off the inning with a single. Wilson Ramos followed suit with a single of his own. Zach Walters then hit his first double of the year, plating Harper and moving Ramos to third. Following a Roark strikeout, Denard Span ripped a single to right field that scored Ramos.

Anthony Rendon then hit a soft single to left to score Walters. After three-straight innings of knocking on the door, the Nats finally broke through for three runs in the fourth.

The Reds would get their only run in the bottom-half of the frame. Speedster Billy Hamilton led off with a single then stole his 41st base of the year with Todd Frazier at the plate. After moving to third on Frazier’s groundout, Hamilton scored on a single by Ryan Ludwick.

J.J. Hoover replaced Simon in the top of the fifth inning. Hoover was the pitcher in the sixth inning that served up an RBI single to Adam LaRoche, scoring Span and making the score 4-1.

That, however, would be all for the scoring.

Roark went seven strong innings, allowing just three hits and one run. The right-hander walked one and struck out six, lowering his ERA to 2.82. Rendon certainly helped Roark limit baserunners, as he made several great plays during the game at the hot corner. Harper also contributed strong defense.

Tyler Clippard pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and Rafael Soriano worked a scoreless ninth to record his 24th save on the year.

Gio Gonzalez will be on the bump on Saturday. He squares off against Johnny Cueto, who is looking for his 11th win of the year.

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Tags: Adam LaRoche Anthony Rendon Bryce Harper Denard Span Rafael Soriano Tanner Roark Washington Nationals Wilson Ramos

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