Tonight, the Washington Nationals nine game home winning streak came to an end as they dropped the first game of a three game series against the Cincinnati Reds. With the score tied at two in the top of the eighth, it was Eugenio Suarez’s solo home run off Casey Janssen that was the difference as the Reds won their fourth straight game against the Nats this season.
Cincinnati got the scoring started in the top of the second inning after a brief rain delay halted play in the bottom of the first. With one out, Brayan Pena reached on an error by the Nats’ starter, Doug Fister, and advanced to second. Suarez would follow up with an infield single to put runners at the corners, but would be picked off trying to take second. However, with two outs, the pitcher, Anthony DeSclafani, hit a RBI double to left field to score Pena and give the Reds a 1-0 lead.
One inning later, the Nats would come back and tie the score. Before the inning, the Nats would replace Denard Span with Matt den Dekker. It was den Dekker that started the two out rally with a base hit to right. Yunel Escobar would hit an infield single and Bryce Harper would walk to load the bases.
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With Wilson Ramos at the plate, DeSclafani bounced a ball in the dirt that Pena knocked down, but it was too far in front of him, which allowed den Dekker to score and tie the game at one.
Before the top of the fifth inning began, Dan Uggla came into the game to place and Danny Espinosa moved to third to replace Yunel Escobar. Here was Matt Williams’ update on Span and Escobar after the game:
Fister would keep the Reds scoreless until the top of the sixth inning. Marlon Byrd led off the inning by hitting a ball off the top of the wall in right for a double. The umpires changed it to a home run, but Matt Williams challenged the call and it was overturned. The ruling would not matter as Cincy would take the lead anyway on a one out single by Suarez that scored Byrd.
That would be the last inning Fister would throw. The Nats’ right-hander went six innings, gave up two runs on eight hits, struck out two, and walked one. The Nationals would get Fister a no-decision by tying up the score in the bottom of the inning.
With two outs, Danny Espinosa hit a solo home to right field. His ninth home run of the season tied the game at two. That would be the last run DeSclafani would give up. He went 5.2 innings, gave up two runs on five hits, struck out six, and walked four.
After Blake Treinen struck out the side in the seventh, Casey Janssen came in to pitch the top of the eighth. With one out, Suarez drove in his second run of the game with a solo shot to left field. His third home run of the season put the Reds ahead, 3-2.
The Nationals had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth against Aroldis Chapman. Michael Taylor reached base on a one out walk and advanced to second on a passed ball. However, Jose Lobaton struck out and den Dekker grounded out to short to end the game to give the Reds All-Star closer his 17th save of the season. Manny Parra (1-1, 1.65 ERA) would get the win for the Reds while Janssen (0-2, 3.60) took the loss.
Next Game: The Washington Nationals (46-37) will be back in action tomorrow night against the Cincinnati Reds (37-44) at Nats Park. You can catch the game at 7:05 PM ET on MASN. It will be a battle of aces as All-Star Max Scherzer (9-6, 1.82 ERA) takes the ball for the Nats against Johnny Cueto (5-5, 2.84) for the Reds.