A ten-run inning, as they often do, blew this one wide open with the Washington Nationals piling it on the bottom of the fifth inning today, scoring, and scoring, and scoring on the Cincinnati Reds in what ended up a 17-7 win which gave the Nats a sweep of the three-game set in Nationals Park.
Strasburg vs the Reds: Stephen Strasburg bounced back from a rough outing against the D-backs in Chase Field (9 H, 9 ER in 4 1⁄3 IP) with a solid start against the Mets in Citi Field last Friday, holding the Nationals’ NL East rivals to four hits and three runs in seven innings.
Winless in his last two outings, after an eight-start unbeaten streak, Strasburg took the hill this afternoon (14-5) in 24 starts, with a 3.72 ERA, a 3.28 FIP, 38 walks, and 181 Ks in 152 1⁄3 IP on the season, with a .220/.277/.369 line against on the year.
Strasburg tossed three scoreless to start, on 49 pitches, and he took the hill with a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth, and Eugenio Suárez reached on a one-hopper to short that Trea Turner couldn’t backhand, then Josh VanMeter singled in the next at bat.
Strasuburg got two outs without a run coming in, and he got José Iglesias swinging with a filthy, 2-2 curve, but it bounced and got away from catcher Kurt Suzuki, allowing Suárez to score from third and tie it up, 1-1.
It was 11-1 in the Nationals’ favor when Strasburg took the mound in the sixth, after driving in one of ten runs the Nats scored in the bottom of the fifth inning, and he gave up a one-out single by Freddy Galvis in the top of the sixth, and an RBI double to left by José Iglesias that made it 11-2.
Tucker Barnhart hit a 1-0 fastball out to right in the next at bat, for a two-run blast, 11-4, and a two-out walk ended Strasburg’s outing after 110 pitches...
Stephen Strasburg’s Line: 5.2 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 Ks, 1 HR, 110 P, 75 S, 7/3 GO/FO.
Bauer in D.C.: Acquired from Cleveland in advance of the July 31st trade deadline, Trevor Bauer gave up 10 hits and four earned runs in 11 2⁄3 IP (3.09 ERA) in his first two starts for Cincinnati, leaving him with a 3.74 ERA, a 4.12 FIP, 68 walks, 200 Ks, and a .219/.310/.399 line against in 168 1⁄3 IP on the season.
Facing the Nationals for the second time in his career, in his second career start in Nationals Park, Bauer tossed two scoreless and hitless to start, but Victor Robles hit a single to center field to start the bottom of the third, stole second base, moved to third base on a sac bunt by Stephen Strasburg, and scored on a sac fly to left by Trea Turner, 1-0.
Robles was 2 for 2 vs Bauer after he lined a 1-1 slider to left with a runner on first in the home half of the fifth, sending catcher Kurt Suzuki around to third with the one-out double, in a 1-1 tie at that point, and Stephen Strasburg came through with an opposite field single on a 3-2 cutter outside, lining it to right to bring Suzuki in and make it 2-1 in the Nationals’ favor.
Trea Turner followed with an RBI single to center, 3-1. Adam Eaton hit a 3-2 fastball to center for a three-run blast and a 6-1 lead. Anthony Rendon hit an 0-1 curve out to center in the at bat that followed, 7-1. No. 26 for Rendon.
Juan Soto singled and Matt Adams walked after the homers and that was it for Bauer, who was eventually charged with nine earned runs...
Trevor Bauer’s Line: 4.1 IP, 8 H, 9 R, 9 ER, 2 BB, 4 Ks, 2 HRs, 101 P, 64 S, 3/4 GO/FO.
Turn-on & SotOBP: With the first of his two hits last night, Trea Turner extended his on-base streak to 21-straight games, over which the 26-year-old was 30 for 88 (.341/.408/.545) with four doubles, a triple, four homers, and 10 walks in 98 plate appearances over the 21 games.
Right behind Turner was Juan Soto, who extended his own on-base streak to 18-straight with his fourth-inning home run last night, which left him 18 for 62 (.290/.438/.726) with three doubles, eight home runs, and 17 walks (vs 9 Ks) in 80 PAs over that stretch.
A walk in his first plate appearance against Trevor Bauer today gave Soto a 19-game on-base streak.
Turner extended his streak to 22-straight games with an RBI single in the fifth that put the Nats up 3-1.
BULLPEN ACTION: Sal Romano took over for the Reds in the fifth, with the Nationals up 7-1, and runners on first and second. A wild pitch moved both runners up, and Asdrúbal Cabrera hit a fly to left that Phillip Ervin tracked but dropped as he hit the wall, 8-1.
Kurt Suzuki hit a 97 MPH 2-0 fastball out to center as well, for a three-run blast, 11-1. Suzuki’s 13th.
It was 11-4 in the Nationals’ favor, with a runner on first when Matt Grace came on for starter Stephen Strasburg and gave up a single to left by Joey Votto, but retired Eugenio Suárez to end the top of the sixth.
Romano returned to the mound in the bottom of the sixth inning, and gave up a leadoff walk to Trea Turner, a double by Adam Eaton, and back-to-back RBI singles by Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto, 13-4. Asdrúbal Cabrera hit a bases-loaded, two-run, ground-rule double after a base-loading walk to Matt Adams, 15-4, and that was it for Romano.
Jared Hughes gave up an RBI single by Kurt Suzuki, 16-4, and Victor Robles’s RBI single made it 17-4 before an out was recorded in the Nats’ half of the sixth.
Aristides Aquino hit a solo shot off Javy Guerra in the top of the seventh, 17-5, but the Nats’ right-hander held it there and came back out with a scoreless, 1-2-3 eighth.
Hughes worked around a single in the bottom of the eighth, and Guerra came back out to end this one, but gave up a one-out single by Aristides Aquino and a two-run home run by Freddy Galvis before he got it done. 17-7.
Final Score: 17-7 Nationals.
Nationals now 65-55