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Washington Nationals drop third straight in Cincinnati, 9-2 Reds in finale...

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Josh Rogers’ homecoming was going well for the first four innings this afternoon...

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

Josh Rogers, pitching in front of a large contingent of friends and family near his hometown of New Albany, Indiana, tossed four scoreless to start today’s game, and he took the hill in the fifth with a 1-0 lead, but ran into trouble, giving up a leadoff double and back-to-back home runs as the Cincinnati Reds jumped out to a 3-1 lead. An inning later, a grand slam to left by Kyle Farmer put this one out of reach, as the Washington Nationals dropped three in a row in Great American Ball Park after taking the series opener.

Rogers vs the Reds: In back-to-back outings against Miami before taking on Cincinnati today, Josh Rogers went five scoreless, in which he allowed just one hit, on just 73 total pitches, and 7 23 innings in which he gave up five hits and one run, and he talked after going up against the Marlins the second time about starting to feel like he was really at home with the Nationals.

“I hope they like me as much as I like them,” the 27-year-old lefty said, “because I’m having a good old time with all the guys here, and they’ve been so awesome, and so welcoming, from the coaching staff to all the players, everybody has been super-awesome, and I really love it here and I’m just trying to make the most of my opportunity.”

Going up against the Reds this afternoon, Rogers tossed four scoreless to start on 76 total pitches, working around three hits and three walks, but he came out for the fifth with a 1-0 lead, and gave up a leadoff double by Jonathan India and a two-run home run to right field by Tyler Stephenson, whose 10th HR of the 2021 campaign put the Reds on top, 2-1. A solo shot by Nick Castellanos (No. 32) in the next at-bat made it a 3-1 advantage for the Redlegs in the fifth.

A two-out single and walk pushed Rogers up to 102 pitches in the fifth and ended his outing in GABP...

Josh Rogers’ Line: 4.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 3 Ks, 2 HRs, 102 P, 62 S, 3/5 GO/FO.

Mahle vs the Nats: Reds’ righty Tyler Mahle, a 2013 7th Round pick by Cincinnati, took the mound this afternoon with a (12-6) record on the year, a 3.66 ERA, a 3.91 FIP, 60 walks, 198 Ks, and a .232/.308/.400 line against in 169 23 IP on the season. Heading into today’s start, Mahle was coming off back-to-back outings against the Pittsburgh Pirates in which he went six scoreless, and then gave up three runs on six hits in 4 13 IP.

Going up against the Nationals in the finale of the four-game set in GABP, Mahle retired the first six batters he faced, but a leadoff walk to Riley Adams and a double off of the left field wall by Carter Kieboom in the first two plate appearances in the third, set the Nationals up with runners on second and third and no one out. Josh Rogers and Lane Thomas K’d in the next two at-bats, however, leaving it up to Alcides Escobar, who popped out to center to end the threat.

Mahle worked around a two-out single by Yadiel Hernández in a scoreless fourth, but a one-out hit by Kieboom in the fifth, and a two-out error by Jonathan India at second base, on a Lane Thomas’ grounder (after Kieboom had moved up a groundout by Nationals’ starter Josh Rogers), led to the first run of the game for either team, 1-0 Nats when Kieboom scored on the misplay.

It was 3-1 Reds when Mahle returned to the mound in the sixth, and worked around a walk to Juan Soto in a 13-pitch frame which left him at 105 total.

Tyler Mahle’s Line: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 Ks, 105 P, 67 S, 8/3 GO/FO.

Alcides EscOBPar: Alcides Escobar started the series finale in Cincinnati with an 11-game hit streak going, over which he was 19 for 53 (.358 AVG) with five doubles, one home run, eight RBIs, two walks, a stolen base, and eight runs scored, but he was hitless in his first three trips to the plate, and he took a walk in the eighth, before getting a bases-loaded, two-out opportunity in the ninth and K’d swinging to end the game. So long, streak.

Bullpen Action: Ryne Harper got the final out of the Reds’ fifth, and came back out for the home-half of the sixth and gave up a leadoff single by TJ Friedl, and a one-out, line drive double by Tyler Stephenson. An intentional walk to Nick Castellanos loaded the bases in front of Eugenio Suárez, who K’d looking at a 2-2 curve from the Nats’ reliever for out No. 2, but Kyle Farmer got all of a 2-2 curveball from Harper and hit it into the upper deck in left for a grand slam and a 7-1 Reds’ lead.

Sean Nolin took over for the Nats with two out in the sixth, and got the final out to the frame.

Dauri Moreta worked around a leadoff walk to Riley Adams in a scoreless top of the seventh.

Nolin returned to the mound in the bottom of the seventh and tossed a scoreless frame to keep it a six-run game.

Amir Garrett worked around a walk in a scoreless top of the eighth.

Nolin got another inning of work in the bottom of the eighth and gave up a one-out single by Delino DeShields and an RBI double by Jose Barrero, 8-1.

Two walks after the Barrero double loaded them up, and a sac fly to center made it a 9-1 lead.

Jeff Hoffman struggled in the ninth, with the Nationals loading the bases and scoring a run on a wild pitch, but 9-2 was as close as they got...

Final Score: 9-2 Reds

Nationals now 64-92