Washington Nationals: Reds’ homers rain on Nats’ parade
By Grant Thomas
Stephen Strasburg struck out ten over 5+ innings, but the Washington Nationals lost to the Cincinnati Reds, 6-3.
It rained in more than just the literal sense this afternoon in Cincinnati as the Washington Nationals (33-23) took on the Cincinnati Reds (22-35) in the second game of a three game series. In a game that had two rain delays, the Reds won the game on a three-run homer by Adam Duvall in the bottom of the eighth.
Stephen Strasburg got the start today and rained ten strikeouts on the Reds in pursuit of his tenth straight win to begin this season, but he gave up two home runs to Joey Votto and Jay Bruce and he ended up getting the no-decision.
Perhaps the Washington Nationals best starting pitcher so far this season, Strasburg breezed through a 14-pitch first inning with a strikeout and two sharp groundouts. It was crucial that Washington get a quality outing from its ace after dropping last night’s game 7-2; it did, but the offense once again came up short.
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The Bruce and Votto homers bookended the game’s first rain delay in the middle of the sixth (about 20 minutes). Earlier, Anthony Rendon hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the second that scored Wilson Ramos and gave the Nats a 2-0 lead.
Bruce’s homer was a floating solo shot to left center in the bottom of the second. The game stayed 2-1 until just after the first rain delay, when Strasburg gave up the leadoff walk that allowed Votto to drive in two with a line drive bomb to right field. His tenth of the season gave Cincinnati a 3-2 lead.
Not long afterwards, the trainers came out to check on what appeared to be Straburg’s lower right leg. He would exit the game after 5.1 innings pitched. He gave up three runs on four hits, struck out ten batters, and walked two.
Strasburg left with calf cramping, per Dusty. Strasburg said he tried to stay hydrated but it still bugged him. Feels fine now.
Dan Straily followed up teammate Brandon Finnegan‘s fantastic start last night with another. He stumped Nationals hitters during his seven innings pitched. He allowed just two hits, two runs, two walks, and struck out three on 95 pitches.
With the Reds still up 3-2 in the eighth, former Washington Nationals reliever Ross Ohlendorf gave up a line drive solo shot to Danny Espinosa, who now has five home runs in his last nine games. That tied up the score at three.
Felipe Rivero came in for the bottom of the eighth and left with Votto on third and Bruce on first after a walk and single respectively. Shaun Kelley would enter the game after the game’s second rain delay, and promptly gave up a three-run homer on a hanging slider to Duvall that made it 6-3 Reds. That’s how it would end at Great American Ballpark.
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What’s Next: The Nats will look to salvage one game in this series when Tanner Roark (4-4, 2.70 ERA) takes the mound tomorrow. You can watch the game at 1:10 p.m ET on MASN2. Roark has allowed two earned runs or fewer in each of his last three outings. Cincinnati will start Jon Moscot (0-3, 7.13 ERA). He went just two innings and allowed seven runs on eight hits (four home runs) in his last start.