Monday night’s pitcher’s duel looked to be in high form with a lot of runs expected, but Luke Weaver pitched well and the bullpen did its job. A two-run home run by Joey Votto in the fourth inning decided Monday night’s 3-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds against the Nationals at the Capitol.
|Cincinnati Reds (46-39)
|Washington Nationals (34-50)
|woman: Weaver (2-2) L: Irvine (1-5) SVs: Diaz (24)
|Stats Cast | Box Score | Game Thread
The match started after an unnecessary 30 minute delay due to rain. The Reds took the lead in the top of the first inning. The Nationals were unsuccessful as Lane Thomas opened the game with a ground double, but Luke Weaver evaded it and forced the next three hitters to retire to scoreless.
Cincinnati started work in the top of the second. Jake Fraley singled and Spencer Stair’s two-out single advanced to third base. Tyler Stevenson hit the Reds’ third single of the inning and Fraley trotted home to make it 1-0.
The Reds returned to the plate in the top of the fourth after Luke Weaver shutout two more innings. Ellie Delacruz singled to take the lead on a single, then Joey Votto hit an opposing two-run homer into the bullpen to extend Cincinnati’s lead to 3–0.
The Nationals weren’t going to shut up. Jaimer Candelario hit a solo homer in the bottom of the fourth to cut the Reds’ lead to 3-1. Luke Weaver put it on the back burner and sat down the next three batters to send the game into the fifth inning.
Washington had two singles in the bottom of the fifth, but Weaver pulled through to hold on to a 3-1 lead. Weaver returned to the mound after the Reds had a straight line in the top of the sixth. He didn’t get his way early on, walking Jamar Candelario and allowing a single to Dominic Smith.
Cincinnati called Ian Gibault out of the bullpen to smash Larry, but that was the end of his day. Gibault started the attack at the lineout, but Keibert Ruiz’s single added a point to make it a 3-2 ball game. That should have been the end of the first Nationals, but the Nationals entered the Reds’ bullpen and took the lead.
Buck Farmer replaced the Reds in the bottom of the seventh and still held a one-run lead. He hit the Nationals quickly, ejecting them in order on 12 balls. Derek Low entered the game in the eighth inning, facing Washington’s key players, holding off on 18 pitches to keep the score 3-2 and sending the game into the ninth.
Cincinnati singled from Tyler Stevenson and walked two outs from TJ Friedl, but fell short of the plate. That meant it was time for Alexis Diaz to end the game in the bottom of the ninth and try to hold on to a one-run lead against the bottom-ranked Nationals hitter. After letting out Keibert Lewis, Corey Dickerson tied the game on an infield hit. Washington sent pinch-runner Stone Garrett to replace Dickerson. He attempted to steal second, but Luke Maile nailed him to second base. Abrams then grounded out, ending the match.
key moments in the game
In the fourth inning, Joey Votto’s two-run home run gave Cincinnati the lead, 3–0.
Alexis Diaz had 24 of 25 save opportunities this season.
Joey Votto’s home run broke the 0-21 streak.
Tyler Stevenson’s bat kept the heat and finished the day 2-3 on walks. Since June 21st he has been hitting .414/.485/.621.
The pitchers only had one walk in the game.
Onwards to the Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati Reds vs Washington Nationals
Tuesday, July 4 at 11:05 a.m. ET
Brett Kennedy (2023 debut) vs. Patrick Corbin (5-9, 4.82 ERA)
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