The Nationals finally made it back to the top of their rotation and it did not matter, as the Cincinnati Reds made it 27 runs in the three game series to win 6-3. The ball was carrying well during the daytime game in the hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark, as Reds ace Johnny Cueto was also touched for three runs in six innings, with Aroldis Chapman throwing consecutive 101 mph fastballs to wrap up the save.
Todd Frazier went 9 of 15 to lead the weekend charge, and almost put the game out of reach in the bottom of the eighth when his fly ball carried to the left centerfield wall before being caught.
Chapman came in throwing heat for the ninth, but with one out Kurt Suzuki just missed his second homer of the game with a deep double to left to put the tying run on deck and guarantee the Nats would get back to the top of the order. Tyler Moore pinch hit for the pitcher’s spot for only his third at bat of the season, but Chapman struck him out, bringing left-handed hitter Denard Span to the plate.
Left-handed batters rarely get hits off hard-throwing left-handed pitchers, but Span gamely fought off 98 mph pitches before having no chance on the second consecutive 101 mph pitch to give the Reds a 2-1 series win in a match-up of the two NL teams with the best records last season.
For the full AP account of the game, click here.