The Cincinnati Reds offense went off, pounding out 16 hits on the day and were led by two home runs from Jonathan India. Washington couldn’t match the output and the Reds held on for an 8-4 win over the Nationals, picking up their 47th victory of the season.
|Cincinnati Reds (47-39)
|Washington Nationals (34-51)
|W: Kennedy (1-0) L: Corbin (5-10) SV: Sims (1)|
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
The Cincinnati Reds wasted little time in getting ahead of Patrick Corbin and the Nationals on Tuesday morning. Matt McLain doubled and then scored on a single by Jonathan India. Elly De La Cruz followed with a single of his own, and when the thrown went to third to try and get India – and it didn’t – De La Cruz took second. Spencer Steer then hit a pop up into shallow left center where it landed between three Nationals who were all just looking at each other, and India raced home to make it a 2-0 game.
In the top of the 3rd inning the Reds offense got moving again. Elly De La Cruz singled and stole second base – his 10th steal of the season – and then Spencer Steer walked. Nick Senzel drove them both in with a 3-run homer that made it 5-0.
After two hitless innings for Brett Kennedy, the Nationals got a leadoff double from CJ Abrams. He would move up to third on a ground out and then come around to score on a sacrifice fly to put Washington on the board. The Reds got that run back the next half-inning when Jonathan India crushed an 81 MPH slider from Patrick Corbin and sent it 421 feet into the seats in center to make it 6-1.
In the bottom of the 5th inning it was once again CJ Abrams causing problems for Brett Kennedy. Abrams doubled with two outs and then came around to score on a Derek Hill single to cut the Reds lead to 6-2. Cincinnati would get that run back in the top of the 6th inning when Jonathan India led off with a solo home run – his second of the day – against new Nationals reliever Cory Abbott.
Washington started to get rolling against Kennedy again in the bottom of the 6th inning with rain now coming down. Jeimer Candelario walked to lead off the inning and then Dominic Smith singled against a shifted infield. That led to David Bell heading to the mound to make a pitching change and call on Fernando Cruz to enter the game and try to keep the Nationals off the board.
He didn’t. A wild pitch moved both runners up a base and then a single brought in a run to cut the lead for Cincinnati to 7-3. Another single followed, bringing in the 4th run for Washington. Cruz then hit Riley Adams to load the bases and just like that things started to feel real uneasy in the Reds dugout. Cruz buckled down, though, and struck out the next two batters before getting a fly ball to end the inning.
Alex Young took over for Cincinnati to start the bottom of the 7th inning and he made it look easy as he worked through the Nationals 2-3-4 hitters with just 13 pitches in a shutout inning of work. The Reds offense picked up a run in the top of the 8th after Matt McLain walked, moved to second on a ground out, stole third base, and then scored on a sacrifice fly from Elly De La Cruz that made it 8-4. Daniel Duarte took care of things for Cincinnati in the 8th inning, sitting the Nationals down in order with a ground out, pop up in foul territory, and ending things with a strikeout of Riley Adams.
The Reds tried to pad their lead a bit more in the top of the 9th inning. Jake Fraley walked and then stole both second and third base. Matt McLain then drew a 2-out walk to put runners on the corner for Jonathan India. He hit the ball hard, but he hit it right back at the pitcher who snagged it and tossed over to first base to end the threat.
Daniel Duarte came back out for the 9th inning, but he didn’t pick up where he left off. The righty walked the first two hitters he saw before manager David Bell headed to the mound to make a pitching change. Lucas Sims came in out of the bullpen to try and hold onto a 4-run lead. Sims would strike out Lane Thomas to record the first out of the inning. Luis Garcia flew out for the second out of the inning. That left the game up to Jeimer Candelario. Both base runners moved up a base on defensive indifference, but it didn’t matter as Sims picked up a strikeout to end the game.
Key Moment of the Game
Lucas Sims entering the 9th inning with two on and no outs and breezing his way through the lineup without allowing a run to cross the plate.
Notes Worth Noting
Jonathan India picked up his second 2-homer game of the season. On May 27th he hit two bombs against the the Cubs. It was his third 2-home run game of his career – he also accomplished the feat on July 30th of 2021.
Brett Kennedy was credited with the win in his 2023 debut. It was the second win of his career, with the other one coming on August 31st of 2018 when he threw six shutout innings against the Colorado Rockies.
Elly De La Cruz and Spencer Steer both went 4-4 on the day. That raised the line for De La Cruz on the year to .308/.348/.490, and he now has 10 steals in 25 games. It raised Steer’s line to .292/.381/.505 on the season in his 83 games played.
Elly De La Cruz is the first player age 21 or younger to have two 4-hit games within his first 25 MLB games since Luis Rivas in 2000-01.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 4, 2023
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati Reds vs Washington Nationals
Wednesday July 5th, 7:05pm ET
Graham Ashcraft (3-6, 6.66 ERA) vs Josiah Gray (6-6, 3.30 ERA)