The pitching match up on Monday night seemed prime for plenty of runs, but Luke Weaver pitched well and the bullpen did their job. Joey Votto’s 2-run homer in the 4th inning would be the difference in the Cincinnati Reds 3-2 win over the Nationals on Monday night in the nation’s capitol.
|Cincinnati Reds (46-39)
|Washington Nationals (34-50)
|W: Weaver (2-2) L: Irvin (1-5) SV: Diaz (24)|
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
After a rain delay of 30 minutes when there was no need for it, the game got underway. The Reds went in order in the top of the 1st inning. The Nationals did not as Lane Thomas led off with a ground-rule double, but Luke Weaver worked around it and retired the next three batters to toss a scoreless frame.
Cincinnati got to work in the top of the 2nd inning. Jake Fraley singled and moved to third on a 2-out single by Spencer Steer. Tyler Stephenson followed up with the Reds third single of the inning and Fraley trotted home to put his team up 1-0.
After Luke Weaver tossed another two shutout innings, the Reds went back to work at the plate in the top of the 4th. Elly De La Cruz led off with a single and then Joey Votto hit an opposite field 2-run homer into the bullpen to extend Cincinnati’s lead to 3-0.
The Nationals weren’t going to quietly. Jeimer Candelario led off the bottom of the 4th inning with a solo home run, cutting the Reds lead to 3-1. Luke Weaver would put that behind him and he sat down the next three batters in order to send the game into the 5th.
Washington had two singles in the bottom of the 5th inning but Weaver was able to wiggle his way out of the jam and hold onto a 3-1 lead. After the Reds went in order in the top of the 6th, Weaver returned to the mound. Things didn’t go his way to start as he walked Jeimer Candelario and then gave up a single to Dominic Smith.
That was the end of his day as Cincinnati called on Ian Gibaut from the bullpen to come in and try to squash a rally. Gibaut would get a line out to begin his outing, but a single from Keibert Ruiz came next and it brought in a run to make it a 3-2 ballgame. That would be all for the Nationals in the inning, but they got into the Reds bullpen and cut into their lead.
Buck Farmer took over for the Reds to begin the bottom of the 7th inning, still holding a 1-run lead. He would make quick work of the Nationals, retiring them in order on 12 pitches. Derek Law entered the game in the 8th inning and faced the heart of the order for Washington and sat them down on 18 pitches to keep the score at 3-2 and send the game to the 9th.
Cincinnati would get a single from Tyler Stephenson and a 2-out walk from TJ Friedl, but they couldn’t bring a run across the plate. That meant it was time for Alexis Diaz to end the game for the bottom of the 9th and try to hold onto a 1-run lead against the bottom of the Nationals lineup. After getting Keibert Ruiz to pop out, Corey Dickerson came through with an infield single to put the tying run on base. Washington sent pinch runner Stone Garrett out to replace Dickerson. He attempted to steal second, but Luke Maile nailed him at second. CJ Abrams then grounded out to end the game.
Key Moment of the Game
Joey Votto’s 2-run home run that put Cincinnati ahead 3-0 in the 4th inning.
Notes Worth Noting
Alexis Diaz is now 24 for 25 in save opportunities this season.
Joey Votto’s home run broke an 0-21 slump.
Tyler Stephenson’s bat remains hot, finishing the day 2-3 with a walk. Since June 21st he’s hitting .414/.485/.621.
The pitching staff had just one walk in the game.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati Reds vs Washington Nationals
Tuesday July 4th, 11:05am ET
Brett Kennedy (2023 debut) vs Patrick Corbin (5-9, 4.82 ERA)