WASHINGTON -- Tony Cingrani struck out a career-high 11 -- including four in one inning -- while pitching two-hit ball through the sixth, and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Washington Nationals 5-2 Sunday to avoid a four-game sweep.
Brandon Phillips had a two-run single as the Reds (14-12) improved to a major league-worst 2-9 on the road.
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Cingrani (2-0) pitched three perfect innings before Denard Span reached base to lead off the fourth - on a strikeout and wild pitch. Danny Espinosa followed with a double, but Cingrani struck out three more hitters to escape the inning without allowing any runs.
In doing so, Cingrani joined Joe Nuxhall, Mario Soto, Tim Birtsas and Frankie Rodriguez as the only Reds with a four-strikeout inning.
Cingrani also became the first Cincinnati rookie to strike out 10 in a game since Johnny Cueto struck out 10 San Diego Padres on July 22, 2008, and the first left-handed Cincinnati rookie to do so since since Dennys Reyes struck out 12 Pittsburgh Pirates on August 20, 1998.
The Reds, who had one hit in each of the series' first two games, found enough offense Sunday to lead from the first inning onward.
Cincinnati had four infield singles, and not only did No. 9 hitter Cingrani and No. 8 hitter Corky Miller score after their infield hits, Miller scored on an infield hit by Zack Cozart.
Joey Votto provided the Reds' only extra-base hit, a first-inning double that set the stage for Phillips' two-run single.
Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki doubled in the seventh, scoring Ian Desmond. Desmond then doubled in the eighth to score Bryce Harper, who walked in a 10-pitch plate appearance.
Ross Detwiler (1-2) allowed three earned runs in five innings, and his 11 hits allowed matched a career high.
Aroldis Chapman earned his fifth save in five opportunities.
Reds RF Jay Bruce, who had hit fifth in each of Cincinnati's first 25 games, dropped to sixth in the lineup. The team's normal No. 6 hitter, 3B Todd Frazier, moved up to fifth. "Things change during the course of the season," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "We are in a production business." Bruce had two hits Sunday, and Frazier had one. ... Washington 1B Adam LaRoche is 0 for his last 26. He struck out thrice Sunday, including once with the bases loaded. Half his at-bats in the skid have now ended in strikeouts. ... Nationals reliever Henry Rodriguez walked Miller in the eighth inning on a pitch that caromed so hard off the backstop, the ball nearly hit Rodriguez on the mound.. The Nationals and Reds completed their season series Sunday. Washington won three of seven. ... Basketball Hall of Famers Elgin Baylor and Dave Bing and Pro Football Hall of Famer Willie Wood were among 10 members inducted before the game into the Washington D.C. Sports Hall of Fame. ... Washington RHP Stephen Strasburg (1-4, 3.16) will face Braves RHP Julio Teheran (1-0, 5.48) on Monday in Atlanta. ... Cincinnati RHP Mat Latos (1-0, 2.16) will face Cardinals RHP Adam Wainwright (4-1) on Monday in St. Louis.