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Cincinnati Reds Avoid Sweep, Take Series Finale From Washington Nationals, 5-2 On Strong Start By Tony Cingrani

23-year-old Cincinnati Reds' lefty Tony Cingrani, a former Rice teammate of the Washington Nationals' Anthony Rendon, was dominant in 6.0 scoreless innings of work as the visiting Reds avoided getting swept with a 5-2 win over the Nats in the series finale in D.C.

Patrick McDermott

After Washington Nationals' lefty Ross Detwiler struck Shin-Soo Choo out to start the game, a ground ball to second by Zack Cozart got by Danny Espinosa into right and a double to left by Joey Votto fell in fair, just inches inside the line foul line. Bryce Harper recovered it quickly and held Cozart at third, but there were two on with one out at the start of the series finale with the Cincinnati Reds in the nation's capital. Detwiler left a 2-2 fastball up outside for Brandon Phillips, and the Reds' second baseman gave the visiting team a 2-0 lead early in the opening frame when he singled to center. Detwiler got Todd Frazier looking with a 2-2 fastball for the second out of the inning. The fourth hit of the inning, a single to right by Jay Bruce, sent Phillips around to third and pushed Detwiler up to 30 pitches. By the time the Nats' starter got Xavier Paul swinging to end the Reds' first, Detwiler was up to 35 pitches overall, 12 more than he's thrown in any inning so far in 2013.

Reds' left-hander Tony Cingrani retired the Nationals, who have a .239/.306/.381 line against lefties so far this year, in order in a 17-pitch frame in the bottom of the first. After making a nice play to throw Cincinnati catcher Corky Miller out on a sharp grounder to third, Anthony Rendon got betrayed by third base, when a grounder by the opposing pitcher bounced off the bag as Rendon dove to make the play. His second baseman betrayed him on a double play grounder to third in the next AB, when Danny Espinosa dropped the 5-4 part of a potential 5-4-3 DP off Shin-Soo Choo's bat. Detwiler had runners on first and second with one out instead. A walk to Zack Cozart loaded the bases for Joey Votto and pushed Detwiler up to 46 pitches, and Votto drove another run in with single to right. 3-0 Cincinnati. A 6-3 DP got Detwiler out of trouble, however, when Adam LaRoche caught a line drive from Brandon Phillips and threw to second to double up Cozart. But Detwiler was up to 53 after an 18-pitch frame.

Adam LaRoche stepped in with two down in the bottom of the second and took an 0-2 fastball from Tony Cingrani for a called strike three and out no.3, extending his hitless streak to 23 at bats, (0 for 23 with 11 Ks), since he last had a hit in the series finale with the Mets in Citi Field back on 4/21.

Todd Frazier singled to start the third, but was doubled up on a 3-6-3 LaRoche started and finished on a sharp grounder to first by Jay Bruce. Another groundout by Xavier Paul ended Detwiler's easiest inning of the first three. The 10-pitch frame had him at 63 overall, down 3-0 in the third. A fly to center by Anthony Rendon, pop to center by Kurt Suzuki and swinging K by Detwiler ended Tony Cingrani's third scoreless and hitless frame. 3-0 Reds after three. A 14-pitch frame had the Reds' starter at 46 overall on the afternoon.

Corky Miller singled off Detwiler's hip to start the fourth, then two outs later found himself on third when Shin-Soo Choo grounded weakly to the Nats' third baseman. Anthony Rendon made a diving play, but his throw to first pulled Adam LaRoche off the bag and Miller scored to make it 4-0 Reds. Joey Votto almost made it 6-0 with a long fly ball to left, but Denard Span made his way over to the bullpen fence to pull another fly ball from the Reds' slugger down off the top of the wall. The Nats' first baserunner of the game came on a swinging K by Denard Span that got away from Corky Miller. Span hustled down to first and then went around to third when Danny Espinosa doubled to right for the Nationals' first hit. Double no.7 for Espinosa. Bryce Harper chased an 0-2 fastball upstairs for out no.1. Jayson Werth walked to load the bases for Ian Desmond, who K'd swinging through a 94 mph 1-2 heater for out no.2 and Adam LaRoche took a 1-2 fastball for a called strike three to leave'em loaded. 0 for 24, 12 Ks in LaRoche's hitless streak.

Jay Bruce hit a two-out single to center off Detwiler in the top of the fifth, for the 10th hit off the Nats' starter in 4.2 IP. A high chopper over the mound by Xavier Paul eluded Detwiler and a charging Ian Desmond for what was ruled a single and hit no.11, but a pop to short right by Corkey Miller ended the Reds' fifth. Still 4-0 Cincinnati. Anthony Rendon lined to left to start the Nats' fifth with the team's second hit off Cingrani. Kurt Suzuki flew out to center in the next at bat, however, and Tyler Moore K'd swinging in front of Denard Span. Span worked the count full and lined to left where Xavier Paul misplayed it, but Anthony Rendon got thrown out at home trying to score on the play and it was 4-0 Reds after 5.0 in Nats Park.

Ross Detwiler's Line: 5.0 IP, 11 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 Ks, 89 P, 59 S, 7/1 GO/FO.

Anthony Rendon, E5, threw high to first on a two-out grounder to third by Shin-Soo Choo to extend Craig Stammen's first inning of relief work in the sixth, but the Nats' right-hander got Joey Votto swinging to end the top of the sixth. Tony Cingrani got a pop to second from Danny Espinosa, a backwards K from Bryce Harper and a swinging K from Jayson Werth to complete his sixth scoreless frame vs the Nationals. 4-0 Reds. Craig Stammen needed 10 pitches to retire the Reds in order in the top of the seventh.

• Tony Cingrani's Line: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 11 Ks, 1 WP, 110 P, 68 S

Reds' right-hander Sam LeCure gave up a leadoff single to right on a pop down the line by Ian Desmond that fell in fair. Adam LaRoche K'd swinging in the next AB, 0 for 25, 13 Ks. Anthony Rendon walked to get Kurt Suzuki up with two on and the Nats' catcher doubled to left on a 3-1 pitch to bring in the Nationals' first run. 4-1. Pinch hitter Steve Lombardozzi stepped in against Sean Marshall with runners on second and third and grounded back to the mound for out no.2. Denard Span, who had a .250/.400/.250 line in 25 PAs against LHP this season before the at bat, grounded out to short to end the threat. 4-1 Reds after seven.

Henry "Lightning" Rodriguez walked Corky Miller, pinch hitter Derrick Robinson and Shin-Soo Choo in back-to-back-to-back at bats with one out in the Reds' eighth before he was replaced on the mound by Ryan Mattheus. A fly to left got out no.2, but allowed Miller to tag and score. 5-1. A low liner to left by Joey Votto ended the frame. Jonathan Broxton took over on the mound for Cincinnati in the bottom of the eighth. Bryce Harper worked the count full in his one-out at bat and walked. Jayson Werth K'd at the end of a seven-pitch at bat and Ian Desmond flew out to rig-- Jay Bruce dropped it! Harper scored from first to make it 5-2 Reds on what was ruled a double on degree of difficulty. No. 10 for Desmond. 5-2 Cincinnati. But Adam LaRoche flew to short right to end the eighth. (0 for 26).

Anthony Rendon made a Ryan Zimmerman-esque play to get the first out of the ninth, charging a grounder off Brandon Phillips bat, barehanding it and throwing to first in time (even pulling LaRoche into the basepath like Zim). Ryan Mattheus got Todd Frazier swinging for out no.2 and got a fly to left from Jay Bruce to end the top of the ninth. Aroldis Chapman took over in the ninth. Anthony Rendon worked the count full and drew a leadoff walk from the Reds' left-handed closer. Kurt Suzuki popped to short for out no.1. Jhonatan Solano popped out to first for out no.2. Denard Span fell behind 0-2 and K'd swinging to end it.

Reds win, 5-2 final.

Nationals now 13-12