Washington Nationals avoid sweep, outlast Reds in back-and-forth slugfest
The Washington Nationals beat the Cincinnati Reds, 10-9, in a wild game Sunday afternoon to avoid a sweep at Great American Ball Park.
In a game that seemed out of reach early and in danger late, the Washington Nationals held on to a 10-9 lead to beat the Reds in a nail-biter in Cincinnati.
The Reds offense got things started early and often against Nationals starter Tanner Roark. Cincinnati scored five runs in the bottom of the second inning. The first three came on a bases-loaded double off the bat of Ivan De Jesus Jr. Later in the frame, Tyler Holt hit a two-run double to give the Reds an early 5-0 lead.
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After the Reds’ offensive onslaught, Cincinnati starter Jon Moscot shut the Nationals down for the first three innings of the game. The Nationals’ offense, which has been inconsistent all year long, seemed overmatched early on, and it looked like the Nats were heading for a sweep at the hands of the last-place Reds.
Fortunately for the Nationals, the offense had other plans.
The Nationals scored five runs of their own in the top of the fourth inning. Not surprisingly, Daniel Murphy got things started with a two-run homer. Wilson Ramos followed with a homer of his own, trimming the Reds’ lead down to 5-3. Stephen Drew and Ben Revere followed with RBI singles, tying the game at 5-5.
Over the next few innings, the Nationals’ offense put on a show. They scored three runs in the fifth inning on an error and a sacrifice fly. Murphy and Ramos each hit RBI singles an inning later, stretching the Nationals’ lead to five runs.
After six innings, the Nationals had a commanding 10-5 lead. Unfortunately for the Nationals, the Reds weren’t going down quietly.
A three-run homer off the bat of Jay Bruce in the bottom of the seventh made it a 10-8 game. The Reds then scored another run in the bottom of the ninth, before loading the bases with no outs against closer Jonathan Papelbon.
With Washington clinging to a 10-9 lead, Papelbon retired the next three batters to secure his 15th save of the season and a win for the Nationals.
Next Up: After an off day tomorrow, the Nationals will be back in action Wednesday night in Chicago, where they’ll take on the White Sox. Joe Ross gets the start for the Nationals, while Mat Latos takes the mound for the White Sox. First pitch is set for 8:10 p.m. ET.