After losing consecutive west coast series to the San Diego Padres and Houston Astros, the Washington Nationals came home tonight against the Cincinnati Reds and got back on the winning track, defeating the Reds 4-2.
Livan Hernandez pitched 6 innings, allowed 8 hits and 2 runs. Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen provided the middle 7th and 8th scoreless innings, including a blow away strikeout by Storen in the last of the 8th inning. Matt Capps gave up two singles in the 9th inning to make it once again interesting, but finished off the Reds for his 18th save of the season.
The Red opened the scoring in the 2nd inning taking a 1-0 lead on an RBI single by Ramon Hernandez. Christian Guzman returned the favor in the bottom of the inning, singling in Ian Desmond to tie the game at 1-1. Roger Bernadina gave the Nats a 2-1 lead with an RBI single in the third inning, driving in Ryan Zimmerman. The Reds would get that run back in the fifth inning.
Washington went to work in the 7th inning. The big bat came from another clutch hit by Desmond, who was already hitting over .360 with runners in scoring position. Desmond singled in Josh Willingham to give the Nationals a 3-2 lead. Next batter up was Willie Harris and he sacrificed in Bernadina to give the Nats a 4-2 lead. After Desmond was called safe at third base, the first base umpire over turned the call, against baseball rules. He also ejected Desmond from the game for arguing the call.
Guzman, Adam Dunn, and Desmond each had two hits tonight.
The win over the Red snapped a three game losing streak for the Nats and improves their record to 27-29.