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Washington Nationals sweep four-game set with Cincinnati Reds with 6-1 win in Great American Ball Park...

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With a 6-1 win this afternoon in Cincinnati, the Washington Nationals swept their four-game set with the Reds in Great American Ball Park.

Photo used with permission of rights holder.

Washington’s Nationals completed a four-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds in Great American Ball Park with a 6-1 win in this afternoon’s wrap-around series finale.

It was the second four-game sweep of the season for the Nationals, who took four straight from the Atlanta Braves in early April, the 11th four-game sweep for the franchise since baseball returned to the nation’s capital in 2005, and the first four-game sweep of the Reds in franchise history.

Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman hit back-to-back blasts as part of a five-run first against Reds’ starter Scott Feldman, who was done after one, and the Nationals got their third home run of the game from Brian Goodwin in the sixth, 6-1.

Stephen Strasburg gave up a solo home run by Eugenio Suarez on a poorly-located 0-2 fastball in the second, but held the home team to one run on four hits in seven innings on the mound in which he struck out 11 in a 105-pitch effort.

Today’s win was the Nationals’ fifth straight and their ninth in the last eleven games.

Nationals now 56-36

HERE’S HOW IT HAPPENED:

The series finale started with a double by Brian Goodwin and an opposite field, bloop single by Stephen Drew that put runners on the corners in front of Bryce Harper, who hit a 1-1 fastball out to right for a three-run blast, 3-0 Nationals. Make that 4-0 when Ryan Zimmerman followed with a solo shot on a first-pitch sinker from Scott Feldman. Zim’s 20th.

Zimmerman went 100 plate appearances between his 19th and 20th home runs, but the 20th was a big one in that it lifted him to the all-time franchise lead, passing the Montreal Expos’ Vladimir Guerrero with his 235th career home run.

Six straight Nationals reached base to start the game against Feldman, and they earned their fifth run on a sac fly by the seventh, with Daniel Murphy scoring from second base on a sac fly to right by Matt Wieters when Scooter Gennett made a diving play but couldn’t recover and get it in quickly enough.

• Scott Feldman’s Line: 1.0 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 2 HRs, 33 P, 18 S, 0/1 GO/FO.

Asher Wojciechowski took over for the Reds in the second, and threw a quick, 1-2-3 frame, and Cincinnati got on the board in the bottom of the inning, with Eugenio Suarez hitting an 0-2 fastball out to right for an opposite field blast, 5-1.

Strasburg held the Reds to one run through five, with a 13-pitch fifth pushing him up to 67 pitches, and the Nationals added to their lead in the sixth when Brian Goodwin hit a 2-1 fastball from Wojciechowski out to right for his 8th home run of the season, 6-1.

Bryce Harper got thrown out at second by Adam Duvall, trying to turn an opposite field grounder into a double, but it was close enough that the play was reviewed but upheld. [ed. note - “He looked safe to us, no one ever asks us though.”]

Strasburg struck out three straight after a leadoff HBP in an 18-pitch seventh for 11 Ks total on 105 pitches.

• Stephen Strasburg’s Line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11 Ks, 1 HR, 105 P, 68 S, 3/3 GO/FO.

Joe Blanton worked around a one-out walk for a scoreless eighth, extending his personal scoreless innings streak to 7 13 over his last nine appearances, and Matt Grace tossed a quick, 1-2-3 ninth to end the series in Cincinnati. Final Score: 6-1 Nationals.

NATIONALS PREGAME NOTES:

  • With a win today, the Washington Nationals could even things up in the all-time series with the Cincinnati Reds, who held a 43-42 advantage going into the series finale, though the Nats have won 22 of 39 since 2012.
  • A four-game sweep would be the Nationals second of the season after they took four in a row from the Atlanta Braves in April, and the 11th four-game sweep since baseball returned to the nation’s capital in 2005. It would be the first four-game sweep of the Reds in franchise history.
  • In today’s “Fun with Arbitrary End Points” update: Anthony Rendon is 34 for 82 (.415 AVG) with nine doubles, eight home runs, 16 walks and 18 runs scored... since 6/15.
  • Rendon entered play today at 4.8 fWAR, leading the NL, and tied with the AstrosJose Altuve for the second-highest fWAR in the majors, behind only the YankeesAaron Judge (5.3 fWAR).
  • Washington’s offense started the day leading the NL in AVG (.279), OBP (.347), SLG (.473), hits (893), extra-base hits (337), runs scored (515), and doubles (188).
  • Stephen Strasburg started the finale in Cincinnati (2-1) with a 5.00 ERA in seven career starts vs the Reds.
  • Bryce Harper (11 games), Anthony Rendon (10 games), Wilmer Difo (8 games), and Daniel Murphy (7 games) all had hitting streaks going heading into play today.

Nationals now 56-36