Ildemaro Vargas’ fifth-inning solo home run broke a 2-2 tie and was the difference in a Washington Nationals’ 3-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds.
|Cincinnati Reds (50-76)||2||5||0|
|Washington Nationals (43-85)
|W: Corbin (5-17) L: Lodolo (3-5) Sv: Finnegan (8)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
Washington’s bullpen limited the Reds to only one hit over the final three innings while striking out three, thwarting Cincinnati’s bid to sweep the three-game series.
After Kyle Farmer gave the Reds a 1-0 lead in the first with an RBI fielder’s-choice groundout, Stuart Fairchild put a marker on the board in the second by hitting one much farther:
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) August 28, 2022
But that was the end of the scoring for the visitors. Cincinnati had only two hits, both singles, over the final seven innings. Jonathan India’s two hits led the Reds and extended his hitting streak to a career-high 11 games.
Starter Nick Lodolo faced the minimum number of batters through three innings, but the first four Nationals batters in the fourth reached on a double, back-to-back hit-batsmen and then a bases-loaded walk to Nelson Cruz that was unquestionably a bad call on ball four by home plate umpire Jeremy Riggs:
— Bally Sports Cincinnati (@BallySportsCIN) August 28, 2022
That turned out to be a very big bad call because Lane Thomas hit a screaming liner to third that Farmer grabbed, and then C.J. Abrams struck out. Had Riggs’ call on the ball four pitch to Cruz been a correct strike three, those two outs would have been the second and third of the inning with no runs scored.
Nationals catcher Riley Adams then followed with a bases-loaded single to center which tied the game at 2-2, but T.J. Friedl continued his terrific defensive play by throwing out Luke Voit at the plate with what would have been the go-ahead run.
Then in the bottom of the fifth, Ildemaro Vargas hit a leadoff solo shot to left off Lodolo to give the home team a 3-2 lead, their first of the series, which proved to be the difference.
In seven innings, Lodolo allowed five hits, one walk and three earned runs while striking out five. Not bad, but not good enough today.
Art Warren pitched a scoreless eighth to keep the Reds’ deficit at one run.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
St. Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds
Monday, August 29, 6:40 p.m. ET
Miles Mikolas (10-10, 3.35 ERA vs. Chase Anderson (56-46, 4.20 ERA lifetime)