Elijah Dukes worked a walk out of Cincinnati Reds' closer Francisco Cordero to lead off the ninth, and at 9:30 pm EST, Josh Willingham stepped to the plate with a runner at first and the Washington Nationals trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the inning...Two hours and eight minutes later...at 11:38 pm EST, Willingham walked after yet another of the many rainstorms that have passed over Nationals Park this summer was through, and Francisco Cordero was in danger of blowing his first save of the season. Ronnie Belliard has one job in that situation, and it's not to K swinging as he did, so it was up to DC catcher Josh Bard, who gets a first pitch fastball and lines it the other way, Dukes scores, 2-1 Reds. Alberto Gonzalez is going to hit in the pitcher's spot, and Gonzalez singles to center to tie it at 2-2 after nine...
That's how it would stay for two more innings until DC lefty Ron Villone gave up a leadoff walk and committed an error on a sac bunt try by Alex Gonzalez in the twelfth, putting two runners on for DC righty Jason Bergmann, who replaces Ron Villone, and gets a double play without a run crossing...only to surrender a two-out RBI double to Johnny Gomes and an RBI single to Jerry Hairston, Jr., to give the Reds the 4-2 lead and eventually the series-clinching win with a chance for a three-game sweep tomorrow...
Reds win, 4-2 final.
For The Completists, Full Game Report After The Jump...
SBN Cincinnati: Red Reporter's GameThread.
DWDT - 2.
(ed. note - It was a busy day at Federal Baseball.com Yesterday. In Case You Missed It:
Did You Miss Last Night's Late-Night Comeback And Loss? The DC Faithful Were Watching.
Washington Nationals now 15-42.
Cincinnati Reds At Washington Nationals. Game 56 or 57 of 162.
Jerry Hairston, Jr. leads off against DC's Shairon Martis. Hairston pops out foul of third, where Ryan Zimmerman grabs it. Adam Dunn takes a step in and catches the second out off of Willy Taveras’ bat. Brandon Phillips grounds to Ronnie Belliard at second and it’s a scoreless first for Martis...Aaron Harang gives up a line drive single to left for Cristian Guzman. Nick Johnson shoots a liner to center for Willy Taveras. Ryan Zimmerman flies to left, Jay Bruce makes his way over to the line. Adam Dunn pops out behind third to end the first.
Shairon Martis starts the second with a 92 mph 1-1 fastball into Lance Nix’s hip. Martis goes to a full count against Ramon Hernandez , Hernandez rips a single into the hol-- Ryan Zimmerman lays out, fully extended to rob Hernandez of a single, Nix to second, Zimmerman throws to first. Fastball up high, Jay Bruce does his "Donkey" impression and hits a two-out blast to right and gone in a hurry, 2-0 Reds. Alex Gonzalez legs out a double to left center. Elijah Dukes drifts back to catch Ryan Hatigan’s fly ball. Aaron Harang swings like he’s never used a bat before, grounding out to end the Reds’ second...Elijah Dukes and Josh Willingham both pop out, bringing Ronnie Belliard up with two down, and Belliard lines to left to keep the second alive. Josh Bard flies out to right field, Jay Bruce doesn’t know how many outs there are, oh now he’s realized.
Jerry Hairston Jr. flies to right, Josh Willingham comes in and catc...drops it. E: 56. Brandon Phillips grounds to Belliard, who makes a "cool" toss to Guzman to Johnson, double play...Shairon Martis K's swinging. Cristian Guzman rips a liner to center, Willy Taveras dives and comes up empty, Guzman goes around to third. Nick Johnson pops out unproductively, and it’s up to Zimmerman with two down. Zimmerman works the count full and walks, but Adam Dunn pops out to the infield to end the third.
Cristian Guzman’s throw to first beats Lance Nix by a step. Guzman catches Ramon Hernandez’s liner in self-defense. Nick Johnson tosses to Shairon Martis covering first to get Jay Bruce on a weak grounder...Elijah Dukes lines the first pitch he sees to Jay Bruce in right. Josh Willingham flies out to left field on an 0-2 fastball from Harang.
Alex Gonzales pops the first pitch he’s sees out to short. Ryan Hatigan walks and takes second on a sac bunt by Harang. Jerry Hairston, Jr. skies the third out to center, Elijah Dukes catches the third out of the Reds’ fifth...Josh Bard singles to start the DC fifth. Shairon Martis grounds into a force at second. Guzman pops the first pitch he sees out to short. Nick Johnson gets as far as the warning track in right, where Jay Bruce catches out No.3.
Shairon Martis throws to first quickly on Willy Taveras’ attempted bunt single. Brandon Phillips flies out to Willingham in right and Lance Nix pops out to short, Martis through the top of the sixth...Ryan Zimmerman arrives at first a step late on a bunt attempt. Adam Dunn walks on a full-count pitch from Harang. Elijah Dukes lines out to Bruce in right. Willingham draws a two-out walk. Ryan Hartigan catches Dunn sleeping, and picks him off second on a 1-2 fastball to Ronnie Belliard.
Shairon Martis gives up a one-out double to right to Jay Bruce, and he’ll face Alex Gonzalez, who flies to deep center...Dukes makes the grab as he hits the wall, Bruce has to hustle back to second. Martis walks the catcher, Hartigan, to get to Harang. Harang grounds out to second, Martis is through seven, down 2-0...Ronnie Belliard skies one to right center that Willy Taveras catches up to. Josh Bard pops out to the infield. Willie Harris hits for Martis, or flies out that is.
"Wild" Joel Hanrahan gets a ground ball out from Jerry Hairston, Jr. to Guzman at short. Willy Taveras grounds back to the mound. Brandon Phillips grounds to short, Guzman guns him too...Guzman grounds the second pitch he sees to first. Nick Johnson battles Harang, but ends up fouling strike three into the catcher’s mitt. Ryan Zimmerman goes the other way with a two-out line drive to right. Harang’s out, Arthur Rhodes on to face Adam Dunn, Lefty vs Lefty. Dunn grounds out to first.
Joe Beimel gets the first out of the ninth when Lance Nix lines to Guzman at short. Ramon Hernandez lines out to third, Zimmerman snags it. Ronnie Belliard throws out Jay Bruce to end the top of the ninth...Francisco Cordero issues a leadoff walk to Elijah Dukes. And with Willingham at the plate, the Umpires call for the tarp as the rain picks up... 9:30 pm Rain Delay...Josh Willingham steps back to the plate and walks at 11:38 pm...Ronnie Belliard gets down 0-2 trying to bunt and K’s swinging at a fastball. Josh Bard takes a fastball to right and off the wall, Dukes scores, Hammer to third. 2-1 Reds. Alberto Gonzalez steps in to pinch hit. Gonzalez goes the other way with an RBI single to tie it at 2-2!!! Cristian Guzman gets called out looking, and disagrees. Nick Johnson hits a line drive to center, Taveras has it. To the tenth...
Mike MacDougal’s on in the tenth. Ronnie Belliard throws out Alex Gonzalez. Ryan Hanigan grounds to second, Nick Johnson dives and has it bounce off his wrist. Chris Dickerson stares strikes three all the way in at 95 mph. Jerry Hairston, Jr. swings through a two-strike heater that McDougal dials up to 96 mh before strutting off the mound...Reds’ reliever Nick Masset starts Zimmerman with a slider outside and finishes Zim with another one that drops off the plate. Adam Dunn grounds into the dramatic shift. Elijah Dukes grounds out to end the tenth.
Adam Dunn takes a few steps back to catch Willy Taveras’ fly ball to left. Brandon Phillips slaps a line drive to right on a low fastball outside. Lance Nix K’s swinging through heat from MacDougal. Ramon Hernandez grounds to Belliard at second and it’s DC’s eleventh is up next...Josh Willingham starts the frame against Masset, grounding out to short. Ronnie Belliard works the count full and swings over ball four. Wil Nieves K’s swinging over a two-strike bender.
Ron Villone vs Jay Bruce in the top of the twelfth. VILL0.00NE walks Bruce, and Alex Gonzalez reaches first when VILL0.00NE slips in the grass going for the sac bunt attempt. Villone’s done after a pitch in the dirt moves Bruce to third. Jason Bergmann gets a grounder to second from Ryan Hanigan, Belliard throws to Johnson, who chases down Gonzalez with Bruce stuck at third, double play. Johnny Gomes doubles in a run, 3-2 Reds...Austin Kearns K’s watching a fastball cross the plate. Cristian Guzman grounds out to first. Nick Johnson has a Discerning Eye, he uses it to walk with two down. Ryan Zimmerman flies out to center to end the frame.
Nationals now 15-42.