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Washington Nationals take 3 of 4 from Cincinnati Reds with 5-4 win in finale in GABP...

Davey Martinez’s club dropped the opener in GABP, but took three straight to end the series...

Washington Nationals v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Corbin “Settled In Nicely”:

In four starts since he tossed 5.0 scoreless against the New York Mets on May 10th, Patrick Corbin had given up 33 hits (6 HRs), seven walks, and 20 runs in 21 23 innings, with hitters putting up a .344/.391/.573 line against him those outings, which left the left-hander with a 6.96 ERA, a 4.54 FIP, 24 walks, 48 Ks, and a .313/.383/.476 line against in 11 starts and 54 13 IP on the season going into the series finale in Cincinnati.

Last time out before today, Corbin gave up 12 hits, two walks, and seven runs, all earned in 4 13 IP, in which he threw 106 pitches, against the same Mets he’d shut out over five three weeks earlier.

“He gave us as much as he could. Threw [106] pitches,” manager Davey Martinez said after a 10-0 loss in Flushing, Queens, NY’s Citi Field in which Corbin struggled but still gave the club some lenght.

This afternoon, in Ohio’s Great American Ball Park, Corbin took the mound with a 2-0 lead, courtesy of a two-out, two-run double by Josh Bell in the opening frame, but he gave it right back, with Nick Senzel singling, stealing second, and scoring on a one-out hit by Tommy Pham, who took second on a throw home on the RBI single, and scored on Joey Votto’s RBI double off the left field wall in the next at-bat, 2-2, and then 3-2 on a second consecutive RBI double, this one by Tyler Stephenson.

Corbin held it there through three, and it was 4-3 in the Nationals’ favor after the top of the fourth, with the left-hander at 49 pitches, when he came back out and worked around a one-out single in a 16-pitch frame which left him at 65 total, with a one-run lead, then he gave up a one-out single in the fifth, before dialing up an inning-ending 6-4-3 DP for the second and third outs of a nine-pitch frame, 74 total.

With a 5-3 lead after five and a half, Corbin worked around a one-out hit in a 17-pitch sixth, which left him at 91 pitches overall, and the Nationals went to the bullpen in the seventh.

Patrick Corbin’s Line: 6.0 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 Ks, 91 P, 58 S, 5/3 GO/FO.

Castillo vs the Nationals:

Luis Castillo, 29, didn’t pitch in Spring Training this year, and the right-handed starter began the year on the IL with a right shoulder strain, missing the Reds’ first 28 games, but after his dominant run on a rehab stint which saw him post a 0.87 ERA and 16 Ks in 10 13 innings over three starts, Castillo returned to the big league rotation for Cincinnati.

In five starts before today’s outing in the series finale with the Nationals, Castillo had a 3.38 ERA, a 2.92 FIP, eight walks, 28 Ks, and a .196/.257/.320 line against in 26 23 IP coming off a six-inning start against the Boston Red Sox in which he struck out 10, allowed just a hit, and walked three batters.

“Maybe the best fastball of the year, locating it,” Castillo’s manager, David Bell, said after a 2-1 win, as quoted on MLB.com.

“Definitely a good changeup and slider to go with it. I thought he really did it with his fastball. The velocity was definitely there. Located it well right from the beginning and as strong of an outing as he’s had in a long time, and that’s saying a lot.”

César Hernández walked to start the finale in Great American Ball Park, and he took third on a double to left by Lane Thomas, but both runners were still out there two outs later when a double by Josh Bell, on a 1-2 changeup low and over the middle of the plate he lined to right field, fell in fair for a two-run double and a 2-0 Nationals’ lead. Bell’s 10th two-base hit.

It was 3-2 in the Reds’ favor when Castillo retired the side in order in the top of the second, but he gave up another leadoff walk to César Hernández in the top of the third, and a two-out single by Nelson Cruz, but he stranded both runners in an 18-pitch frame which left him at 56 pitches total after three.

Yadiel Hernández singled on a 2-2 changeup, stole second base, and after a walk to Keibert Ruiz, took third base when Maikel Franco hit a one-hop liner to third on which the Reds tried but failed to turn a double play when Matt Reynolds lost the ball on the exchange. With the runners on the corners and one out, Luis García singled to right to drive Hernández in, 3-3, and get Franco over to third, before he scored, 4-3, on a force at second on a ground ball off César Hernández’s bat.

Maikel Franco jumped all over a first-pitch sinker with two out in the sixth, and hit a 416-foot homer to left to put the Nationals up 5-3 on the Reds after five and a half in GABP. No. 4 for Franco this season.

Lane Thomas singled, and Juan Soto walked, with one down in the top of the seventh, and with Castillo up to 111 pitches, the Reds went to the bullpen...

Luis Castillo’s Line: 6.1 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 6 Ks, 1 HR, 111 P, 70 S, 7/3 GO/FO.

Bullpen Action:

Art Warren was the first pitcher out of the ‘pen for the Reds, coming on in the seventh with runners on 1st and 2nd and one out and Nelson Cruz due up, and getting an inning-ending 4-6-3 DP to keep it a two-run game.

Victor Arano retired the Reds in order on 12 pitches to keep it 5-3 in the Nats’ favor.

Warren returned to the mound in the eighth, and worked around a two-out walk to (and stolen base by) Keibert Ruiz for a scoreless frame.

Arano came back out in the bottom of the eighth, but was injured when his leg buckled as he stumbled trying to field a weak roller towards first off Brandon Drury’s bat, and the right-handed reliever left the game, limping off the field after a visit from the Nats’ trainer...

Erasmo Ramírez took over for Arano and immediately took a comebacker off his right hip that fell in for a single, putting two on with no one out. Joey Votto grounded into a 4-6-3 double play for the first two outs of the inning, but Tyler Stephenson connected for a two-out RBI single which made it a one-run game, 5-4 Nats. Ramírez got out No. 3 to keep the visitors ahead.

Tanner Rainey Steve Cishek came on to close it out with a one-run lead in the ninth, after Tanner Rainey pitched in back-to-back games in the previous two, and he walked Albert Almora, Jr. to start the inning, but he got two quick outs from Mike Moustakas and Alejo Lopez before Nick Senzel reached on an infield single to get Brandon Drury up with two runners on and two out, but Keibert Ruiz back-picked Senzel at first and picked him off. Ballgame.

Nationals now 21-35