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Washington Nationals 3-2 over Cincinnati Reds: Juan Soto homers twice in GABP...

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Patrick Corbin gave the Nationals 6 2⁄3 scoreless and Juan Soto homered twice for two of the Nats’ three runs in a 3-2 win over the Reds.

MLB: Washington Nationals at Cincinnati Reds David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Corbin gave the Washington Nationals 6 23 scoreless, on 99 pitches, and Juan Soto hit two opposite field home runs in what ended up a 3-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds.

Corbin, in one of his best outings in a rough season, held the Reds to four hits and four walks on the night, striking out seven of the 27 batters he faced in the first game of the Nationals’ four-game set in Great American Ball Park.

Soto took Reds’ starter Luis Castillo deep to left-center field in the top of the sixth, to put the Nats up 2-0, after Josh Bell drove in a run in the third, then the Nationals’ 22-year-old slugger got reliever Luis Cessa in the top of the seventh, hitting his 29th home run of the season out to the left field corner. He’s pretty good.

Corbin vs the Reds: Patrick Corbin put together two solid starts in a row, in a season with few of them for the left-hander, but he struggled last time out before tonight’s start in the Cincinnati Reds’ home.

Corbin gave up 10 hits, three walks, and six earned runs in just four innings of work on the mound against the Colorado Rockies in the nation’s capital, and he talked afterwards with reporters about continuing to search for answers.

“I try to figure out kind of how to go out there and get better results, and be better,” Corbin said. “I think just fastball command just wasn’t very good today, so just trying to find a way if I’m trying to throw away, or if I’m trying go throw in, being able to hit those spots more consistently, so just going to try to look at some things and try to correct that in my bullpen, and a couple more starts left, try to finish the season on the right way.”

How’d Corbin do tonight?

The left-hander tossed two scoreless on 26 pitches, and came back out for the third with a 1-0 lead, and a leadoff ROE on a booted Jose Barrero grounder to Luis García and back-to-back, one-out walks loaded the bases in front of Nick Castellanos, who struck out swinging on a 2-2 slider for out No. 2, before Joey Votto K’d chasing another 2-2 slider. Okay...

Corbin held the the Reds off the board through five, and returned to the mound in the sixth with a 2-0 lead, and gave up a leadoff single by Joey Votto, but erased the leadoff runner in the next at-bat, with a 4-3 DP off Kyle Farmer’s bat, and a swinging K, from Eugenio Suárez, ended a 14-pitch frame that left the lefty at just 81 pitches overall.

Corbin returned to the mound in the seventh with a 3-0 lead, courtesy of Juan Soto’s 2nd HR of the night, and gave up a leadoff double by Delino DeShields, who took third on a fly to left by Jose Barrero, and a swinging K from pinch hitter Aristides Aquino ended Corbin’s night...

Mason Thompson came on and get the final out of the inning, stranding the inherited runner

Patrick Corbin’s Line: 6.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 7 Ks, 99 P, 59 S, 9/1 GO/FO.

Castillo vs the Nats: Reds’ righty Luis Castillo snapped a four-start winless streak last time out, with five scoreless innings on the mound against the LA Dodgers in which he gave up five hits and two walks while striking out 10 of the 26 batters he faced.

“I’ve seen where the bigger the challenge and the better the team, sometimes (Castillo) is able to find an extra gear,” Reds’ skipper David Bell said, as quoted by Cincinnati Enquirer writer Charlie Goldsmith, after a 3-1 win over the Dodgers.

“That’s what we saw tonight.”

This time out, against a decidedly non-playoff team?

Castillo tossed two scoreless to start, on 32 pitches, but Lane Thomas singled with one out in the third, took third base on a two-out single by Juan Soto, then scored on a line drive to left by Josh Bell for a 1-0 Nats’ lead.

Castillo retired seven straight batters after Bell’s home run, to get through five with just the one run allowed, but Juan Soto got him in the first at bat of the top of the sixth, taking an 0-2 sinker to left field for an opposite field home run, his 28th of 2021, and a 2-0 lead.

Luis Castillo’s Line: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 Ks, 1 HR, 105 P, 72 S, 5/2 GO/FO.

SotOBP: Juan Soto reached base in all five of his plate appearances in Miami on Wednesday night, going 3 for 3 with two walks, one intentional, then walked the first time up tonight, hit a single the second time to the plate, homered to lead off the sixth, and then hit his second home run of the night and 29th of 2021 in the top of the seventh: 3 for 3, BB, 2 HRs, 2 RBIs.

Bullpen Action: Reds’ righty Luis Cessa took over on the mound in the top of the seventh, with the home team trailing 2-0, and retired two batters, but Juan Soto came up with two out and hit a 95 MPH 3-2 fastball out all the way the other way into the left field corner for his second of the game and 29th of 2021. 3-0 Nats. Juan Soto’s pretty, pretty, pretty good.

Amir Garrett retired the Nationals in order in a quick top of the eighth.

Tanner Rainey worked around a two-out walk to Joey Votto in a scoreless bottom of the eighth.

Art Warren got the top of the ninth for the Reds, and retired the side in order.

Kyle Finnegan gave up a leadoff single by Eugenio Suárez in the home-half of the ninth, and one-time Nats’ prospect Max Schrock tripled to right in the next at-bat, to drive in the Reds’ first run of the game, 3-1 Nationals. Tucker Barnhart brought in run No. 2 with a groundout, 3-2. That’s as close as they got though, as Finnegan worked around a two-out HBP to end it. Ballgame.

Final Score: 3-2 Nationals

Nationals now 64-89