When Tyler Mahle exited the game after the 6th inning he held a 7-3 lead and was probably feeling good about his teams chances. The Cincinnati bullpen didn’t care much for that as they allowed the Nationals to score seven runs in the final three innings as they picked up the win and guaranteed themselves at least a split of the 4-game set at Great American Ball Park with the Reds.
|Washington Nationals (20-35)||10||16||0|
|Cincinnati Reds (18-34)||8||10||1|
|W: Finnegan (2-1) L: Strickland (0-2) SV: Rainey (7)|
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
Cincinnati didn’t waste any time getting the offense rolling on Saturday. Nick Senzel led off with a single and moved to second when Brandon Drury walked. Tyler Stephenson would add a 2-out walk to load the bases before Kyle Farmer came through with a 2-run single to put the Reds on top 2-0.
The offense was pretty quite until the 5th inning. Drury led off with a single and then Stephenson had a 2-out single and Farmer walked to load the bases. That led to a mound visit prior to Mike Moustakas coming to the plate. It’s doubtful that the conversation was throw 11 pitches before walking in a run, but that’s what happened and the Reds tied the game up at 3-3. Things didn’t get better for Jordan Weems as Albert Almora Jr. went deep for a go-ahead grand slam to give Cincinnati a 7-3 lead.
After the Nationals were able to tie the game up in the top of the 8th inning the Reds went in order on strikeouts in their half of the inning. The bullpen struggles continued in the top of the 9th and Cincinnati entered the bottom of the inning down 10-7. Brandon Drury did his part, clubbing a solo home run to make it a 10-8 ballgame. Tommy Pham followed with a single to bring Joey Votto to the plate as the tying run against Tanner Rainey, but he would fly out. Tyler Stephenson was the last hope, but he struck out swinging to end the game.
After holding the Nationals scoreless in the first two innings, Washington was threatening against Tyler Mahle in the 3rd when Luis Garcia singled and stole second base to put himself into scoring position. Lane Thomas followed with a 2-out single into left field but Tommy Pham came up firing to Tyler Stephenson who took the throw and made the tag at the plate to end the inning and hold the Reds 2-0 lead.
The defense couldn’t help Mahle out in the 4th when Juan Soto led off with a 423-foot home run off of the batters eye to cut the Cincinnati lead in half. Washington wasn’t done as they loaded the bases with one out with two singles and a walk. After a mound visit from Derek Johnson, Maikel Franco took the first pitch he saw and lined an RBI single into left to tie the game up. Luis Garcia followed up with a sacrifice fly to make it 3-2 for the Nationals. Mahle threw two shutout innings to follow, exiting the game after the 6th inning with a 7-3 lead.
Alexis Diaz took over for the Reds in the 7th inning and he struggled for one of the only times this season. The rookie gave up three straight 1-out hits that culminated with a 3-run home run to Juan Soto that made it a 7-6 ballgame. Tony Santillan took over in the 8th inning and after getting a ground out to begin the inning he allowed a single and a double before striking out Cesar Hernandez. But then Santillan walked Lane Thomas on four pitches to bring Juan Soto to the plate. Soto wouldn’t get to face Santillan, though, as Ross Detwiler entered out of the bullpen with two men on and just as everyone expected, Detwiler struck him out to end the inning and keep the game tied.
Hunter Strickland entered the game in the 9th and promptly gave up back-to-back ground ball singles to put runners on the corners with no outs. Strickland rebounded with a strikeout of Yadiel Hernandez before Keibert Ruiz lined out to a leaping Matt Reynolds for the second out. But Maikel Franco blooped one into left center to plate the go-ahead run and Franco moved up to second base when the throw to third base bounced away. The advancement was big as the single that followed plated two and the Nationals jumped ahead 10-7. That was all they’d get, but it was also all that they would need as Washington held on for the win.
Key Moment of the Game
Luis Garcia’s 2-run single in the 9th that made it a 10-7 ballgame.
Notes Worth Noting
Joey Votto’s 4th inning single gave him 2049 hits for his career and he passed up Johnny Bench in hits as a Red with it. He’s now 4th all-time in franchise history.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Washington Nationals vs Cincinnati Reds
Sunday June 5th, 1:40pm ET
Patrick Corbin (1-8, 6.96 ERA) vs Luis Castillo (2-2, 3.38 ERA)