Cincinnati Reds Take Down Nationals in Series Opener, 5-2


5. 61. . 2. 90

After losing 10 of their previous 11 games, the Cincinnati Reds were arguably the worst team in baseball coming into the weekend series with the Washington Nationals, one of the top teams in the majors. That didn’t matter on Friday night as the Reds had their highest scoring game in nearly two weeks as they defeated the Nationals, 5-2.

More from Blog Red Machine

The Reds wasted no time in getting to a struggling Stephen Strasburg, as Joey Votto hit his first May home run in the first to give his team an early 1-0 lead.

Strasburg would only face three more batters before being removed from the game with an unspecified injury.’s William Ladson reported after the game that Strasburg left after experiencing neck tightness.

Anthony DeSclafani followed up his seven-inning, one-run performance against the Indians on Sunday with another quality outing on Friday. Contrary to Sunday’s game, DeSclafani got some run support in this one as the rookie was able to pick up the win after allowing two runs on eight hits and two walks with one strikeout.

DeSclafani kept the Nationals off the scoreboard until the fifth inning when he gave up a double, a walk and two infield singles–the second of which tied the game at one.

The Nationals would take a 2-1 lead on DeSclafani and the Reds in the sixth as Ryan Zimmerman beat a throw from Billy Hamilton at the plate with a brilliant head-first slide after Wilson Ramos‘ single.

The Reds didn’t stay down for long, though, as the offense answered in the bottom of the sixth with a three-run outburst. Brandon Phillips got the scoring started with a pinch-hit sacrifice fly, followed by run-scoring singles from Hamilton and Zack Cozart.

Things got testy in the seventh as Tony Cingrani entered the game for Jumbo Diaz and drilled Bryce Harper in the back with the first pitch he threw. Harper took exception to being hit and had words with Votto at first base, but there was no further altercation.

The fireworks continued in the the bottom of the inning, but this time actual fireworks went off as Todd Frazier hit his 15th home run of the season to make it a 5-2 Reds’ lead. I think he can go ahead and book his ticket to Cincinnati for the Home Run Derby.

After Cingrani walked the bases loaded in the eigthth, J.J. Hoover came on to get the Reds out of the jam and Aroldis Chapman struck out two in the ninth to pick up his eighth save of the season.

Other Notes:

Up Next: The Reds and Nationals will meet for game two on Saturday at 4:10 p.m. ET. Raisel Iglesias will start for the Reds while Gio Gonzalez will oppose him.

Next: Four Reds in contention for All-Star bid