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Washington at Cincinnati

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Washington (16-29)420100000791
Cincinnati (18-27) «02300003x8121

Reds overcome six-run deficit to down NL-worst Nats

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CINCINNATI -- Already down by six runs in the second inning, the Cincinnati Reds were expecting the worst. Usually, that's what they get these days.

Javier Valentin lifted their gloom with a pinch-hit homer in the eighth inning Monday night, setting up an 8-7 victory that represented the Washington Nationals' biggest meltdown of the season.

"The way we started the game, we thought it was going to be ugly," said Valentin, who won it with the fifth pinch-hit homer of his career.

It was ugly, all right.

Valentin's homer off Jon Rauch (2-1) was set up by a misplay characteristic of the NL's worst team. Center fielder Nook Logan and right fielder Austin Kearns let Scott Hatteberg's fly drop for an RBI double ahead of Valentin's homer, leaving the Nationals (16-29) with some explaining to do.

"We were both calling for it," said Logan, who had his glove lined up but turned away at the last instant. "I saw him at the last minute out of the corner of my eye. He was still running, and he's a pretty big guy. That cost us the game."

Jon Coutlangus (2-0) retired the four batters he faced, and David Weathers finished for his ninth save in 10 chances.

Hatteberg homered and doubled twice, driving in four runs as the Reds won for only the fifth time in 19 games. Ken Griffey Jr. added a solo homer, the 572nd of his career. Griffey is one behind Harmon Killebrew for eighth place on the list.

Second baseman Brandon Phillips went 0-for-4, ending his hitting streak at 22 games. It was the longest streak in the NL this season and the longest by a Reds batter since 1996, when Hal Morris hit in 29 straight.

The Nationals got up 6-0 in the second inning, but their usually dependable bullpen let them down. By the time Valentin came to bat, the Reds were feeling pretty good.

"Javy is one of the better pinch hitters in baseball," manager Jerry Narron said. "Every time he goes up there, you feel he has a chance to hit the ball out of the park. I feel pretty good with him coming up there."

Rauch made a big mistake on a one-ball, two-strike pitch to Valentin.

"I wanted the pitch to Valentin down and away, and I left it over the middle," Rauch said. "Of course, I'm down on myself. I'm not getting the job done."

The game united the NL's two worst teams of this season, and reunited players involved in one of last season's biggest trades -- one that's disputed to this day. The Nationals are last in the NL East, with the Reds at the bottom of the NL Central.

They're also linked by a grievance.

Washington got Kearns and shortstop Felipe Lopez in an eight-player deal with the Reds last July 13. The Reds filed a grievance this month claiming that general manager Jim Bowden -- who was fired in Cincinnati in 2003 -- failed to fully inform them about Gary Majewski's sore pitching shoulder before the trade.

The teams hadn't played since the deal. Lopez and Kearns had roles in getting the Nationals off to the 6-0 lead in their homecoming.

With his game-opening single, Lopez started one of Washington's biggest rallies of the season. The Nationals sent 10 batters to the plate in a 20-minute, 49-pitch inning against Bronson Arroyo, who lasted only two innings.

"I never got into it," said Arroyo, who threw a complete game in his last start. "I walked some guys I shouldn't have. Just one of those games."

Dmitri Young doubled home a pair of runs during the four-run rally, and singled ahead of Kearns' homer in the second inning for a 6-0 lead -- big stuff for a team that hasn't scored more than seven runs in any game this season.

As usual, the Nationals didn't deal well with prosperity. Rookie Levale Speigner gave up five runs in three innings, including Hatteberg's two-run homer and Griffey's solo shot in the third. Speigner opened the season in long relief, and is trying to help the Nationals' injury-depleted rotation.

Notes

  • Since he returned to his accustomed spot at third in the batting order on May 3, Griffey has hit seven of his nine homers. He batted fourth or fifth early in the season.
  • Speigner was the 364th pitcher to allow a homer by Griffey.
  • LF Ryan Church was out of the Nationals' lineup, a day after he was hit on the left forearm by a pitch. The injury isn't serious.
  • Reds OF Josh Hamilton celebrated his 26th birthday on Monday without the traditional fare. "I don't think I'll be eating any birthday cake," he said. He was hospitalized in Cleveland on Saturday for an inflamed digestive system.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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The Reds use a homer barrage to win and Ken Griffey Jr.'s  blast puts him in Harmon Killebrew territory.  (AP)
The Reds use a homer barrage to win and Ken Griffey Jr.'s blast puts him in Harmon Killebrew territory. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cincinnati

S. Hatteberg
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 4
Washington

R. Zimmerman
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Washington Nationals
Felipe Lopez, 2B5110024 .238
Cristian Guzman, SS3100210 .259
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B5232001 .255
Dmitri Young, 1B4222010 .262
    Saul Rivera, P0000000 .000
    Jon Rauch, P0000000 .000
   a- Ronnie Belliard, PH1000001 .259
Austin Kearns, RF4112022 .244
Brian Schneider, C4021001 .231
Nook Logan, CF4000022 .259
Ryan Langerhans, LF2000210 .132
Levale Speigner, P0000100 .000
    Winston Abreu, P1000010 .000
    Robert Fick, 1B1000000 .176
Totals34797510  
a-popped out for Rauch in the 9th
Batting
2B - Ryan Zimmerman (12, Arroyo), Dmitri Young (9, Arroyo)
HR - Ryan Zimmerman (5, Santos), Austin Kearns (5, Arroyo)
SH - Levale Speigner (2)
RBI - Ryan Zimmerman 2 (21), Dmitri Young 2 (19), Austin Kearns 2 (18), Brian Schneider (15)
2-OUT RBI - Austin Kearns 2 (10)
CS - Nook Logan (1, 2nd base by Santos/Ross)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - F. Lopez-Guzman-Young
E - Levale Speigner (1, Dropped fly)
Washington Nationals
Levale Speigner 3755302 6.33
Winston Abreu 3100020 3.24
Saul Rivera (H,6) 1100000 2.45
Jon Rauch (BS,2; L,2-1) 1333021 4.62
IBB - Ross by Levale Speigner
Pitches-Strikes - Levale Speigner 66-37, Winston Abreu 31-20, Saul Rivera 15-10, Jon Rauch 29-22
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Levale Speigner 2-6, Winston Abreu 4-2, Saul Rivera 2-1, Jon Rauch 1-0
Batters Faced - Levale Speigner 18, Winston Abreu 9, Saul Rivera 4, Jon Rauch 6
Cincinnati Reds
Ryan Freel, 3B-CF5010012 .268
Norris Hopper, CF-LF4010001 .265
Ken Griffey Jr., RF4121001 .303
Brandon Phillips, 2B4000001 .286
Adam Dunn, LF3220100 .268
    David Weathers, P0000000 .000
Alex Gonzalez, SS4211002 .252
Scott Hatteberg, 1B4234010 .303
David Ross, C2010110 .206
   a- Javier Valentin, PH-C1112000 .239
Bronson Arroyo, P0000100 .087
    Victor Santos, P1000002 .000
   b- Chad Moeller, PH1000000 .200
    Todd Coffey, P0000000 .000
    Jon Coutlangus, P0000000 .000
   c- Juan Castro, PH-3B1000010 .170
Totals34812834  
a-homered for Ross in the 8th
b-grounded out for Santos in the 6th
c-struck out for Coutlangus in the 8th
Batting
2B - Alex Gonzalez (8, Speigner), Scott Hatteberg 2 (7, Speigner, Rauch)
HR - Ken Griffey Jr. (9, Speigner), Scott Hatteberg (3, Speigner), Javier Valentin (1, Rauch)
RBI - Ken Griffey Jr. (27), Alex Gonzalez (17), Scott Hatteberg 4 (15), Javier Valentin 2 (10)
2-OUT RBI - Alex Gonzalez (6), Scott Hatteberg 3 (10)
CS - Ryan Freel (6, 2nd base by Speigner/Schneider)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
E - Adam Dunn (3, Throwing)
Cincinnati Reds
Bronson Arroyo 2666321 3.41
Victor Santos 4211151 3.60
Todd Coffey 0.2100000 4.79
Jon Coutlangus (W,2-0) 1.1000020 3.07
David Weathers (S,9) 1000110 2.08
IBB - Langerhans by Bronson Arroyo
Pitches-Strikes - Bronson Arroyo 62-32, Victor Santos 57-37, Todd Coffey 12-8, Jon Coutlangus 17-11, David Weathers 15-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bronson Arroyo 2-2, Victor Santos 4-2, Todd Coffey 2-0
Batters Faced - Bronson Arroyo 15, Victor Santos 14, Todd Coffey 3, Jon Coutlangus 4, David Weathers 4
Game Information
Attendance - 15271
Game Time - 2:50
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Jim Reynolds, First Base - Gary Cederstrom, Second Base - Lance Barksdale, Third Base - Tim Welke