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Washington Nationals vs Cincinnati Reds: Game Report..."Ken Griffey's 604th HR and Arroyo's Six Scoreless Too Much For Nationals."

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DC leadoff batter Willie Harris flies out to Jay Bruce in center for the first out of the 4th of July matchup between the Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals, which gets underway after a 2-hour delay. Reds’ starter Bronson Arroyo gets the second out with help from second baseman Brandon Phillips who spins and throws to first off-balance after fielding a sharp grounder from Cristian Guzman. Elijah Dukes hits the first pitch he sees to left for a single. Arroyo issues DY a two-out walk. Austin Kearns grounds into a force at second to end the DC first...Jerry Hairston, Jr. chases strike three for Jason Bergmann’s first K. Jay Bruce doubles into the corner in right. 1-0 pitch to Ken Griffey, Jr. who starts the fireworks early with a two-run blast just over the wall in right. 2-0 Reds. 

 

Ronnie Belliard singles to start the second, but Bronson Arroyo gets the next three Nationals’ batters in order to end the top of the frame. Jason Bergmann gets a fly ball out from Joey Votto, gets Reds’ catcher Paul Bako looking, and gets the opposing pitcher swinging through a fastball to end the second...Top of three, Willie Harris stares at strike three on a curve on the outsider corner. Cristian Guzman drops a single into center.* Elijah Dukes swings over an outside curve. DY walks again. Austin Kearns grounds to short, Hairston throws to second for the inning-ending force...Bottom of the third, Jerry Hairston Jr. bloops a single over second. Jay Bruce grounds to second, Felipe Lopez fields, spins and throws to second, Guzman back to first, double play. Jason Bergmann issues a two-out walk to Griffey, Jr., and throws ball four over Brandon Phillips’ head to bring up Adam Dunn with two on...Dunn pushes Willie Harris back to the warning track in center, where Harris closes his glove on the third. 2-0 Reds.

 

Ronnie Belliard has Arroyo’s slow curve drop under his bat for a swinging strike three. Lo Duca flies out to right. Felipe Lopez goes the other way and flies out to left to end the DC fourth. Keppinger and Votto pop out for the first two outs of the home half of the inning. Paul Bako draws a two-out walk, and Bronson Arroyo lines to left where Elijah Dukes ha...misses it, under his glove and has it roll all the way to the wall for a two-base error and another run scored. 3-0 Reds...Willie Harris lines a one-out single to left center in the top of the fifth. Cristian Guzman flies out. Elijah Dukes pops a curve out to left...Reds’ half of the fifth, Jay Bruce pops out to short. Griffey, Jr. pops out to Belliard in short left. Brandon Phillips is fooled by a curve from Bergmann that ends the fifth. Still 3-0 Redlegs.

 

DY doubles to lead off the DC sixth. Austin Kearns grounds out allowing DY to take third. Belliard grounds out to first, DY stays at third. Paul Lo Duca takes a two-out walk. Felipe Lopez flies out to short. 3-0 Reds middle of six...Willie Harris leaps softly into the wall to catch a blast off Adam Dunn’s bat. Keppinger flies out to short. Joey Votto strokes a two-out grounder up the middle. Paul Bako lines a single through Bergmann and into center. Andy Phillips comes on to pinch hit, and pops out to right to end the sixth. 3-0 Reds.

 

Aaron Boone flies out to left to start the seventh. Willie Harris swings through strike three from Reds’ reliever David Weathers. Cristian Guzman chops one straight down and Paul Bako fields and throws to first in time, Stand up and stretch...Steven Shell starts the seventh...Guzman fields Hairston’s weak grounder and throws to first in time. Jay Bruce grounds back to the mound. Shell walks Ken Griffey, Jr., but drops a slow curve on Brandon Phillips for strike two and then paints the outside corner to get Phillips waving his bat weakly at strike three. 

 

Jared Burton’s on in relief for the Reds’ eighth. Elijah Dukes misses an outside fastball for a swinging strike three. DY drills a single through second. Another outside fastball gets Kearns swinging. Ronnie Belliard flies out to right...Adam Dunn hits a broken bat single off Shell, who’s back for the eighth. Keppinger pops a bunt out to Shell who doubles up pinch runner Corey Patterson at first. Shell walks Joey Votto with two down, but gets help from DC catcher Paul Lo Duca who throws Votto out trying to steal second. 

 

Three outs for the Nationals to get three runs off Reds’ closer Francisco Cordero. Lo Duca singles through the infield and into right. Felipe Lopez grounds into a force at second but beats out the back end of the DP. Jesus Flores reaches safely on a hotshot to short that Jerry Hairston dives for and tosses to second a moment too late. Two on, one out for Willie Harris. Harris flies out to right...Cristian Guzman fouls one off...and then stares at strike three on the outside corner. Reds win 3-0. 

 

(ed. note - "* = Guzman continues 12-game hitting streak.")

 

Nationals now 34-54.