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Washington at Cincinnati

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Washington (56-44) «0003010004120
Cincinnati (51-51)000100000141

Nationals send Reds to 7th straight loss 4-1


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CINCINNATI (AP) Tanner Roark won the final spot in Washington's rotation during spring training. Halfway through the season, he's the Nationals' top winner.

Roark allowed only three singles over seven innings on Friday night, and Denard Span matched Cincinnati's hit total with his four singles, leading the Nationals to a 4-1 victory that extended their surge and the Reds' slump.

The Nationals won for the seventh time in nine games. They are 56-44, the second-best mark after 100 games in franchise history. The 2012 club went 60-40 on its way to the NL East title.

Roark (10-6) became Washington's first 10-game winner and improved to 3-0 in his last three starts. The right-hander has allowed three runs over 21 innings during those three wins, lowering his ERA to 2.82 - the best in the rotation.

Nobody would have predicted that during spring training.

''It's pretty cool just to think about,'' Roark said. ''You dream ever since you're a kid of getting to the big leagues. I took the opportunity and tried to run away with it.

''It is a little surprising. It's been a good ride so far. Keep it going.''

Rafael Soriano gave up a walk and a double in the ninth while getting his 24th save in 27 chances and finishing the combined four-hitter.

The Reds remain stalled since the All-Star break, dropping all seven games for their longest losing streak in five years. It's the first time they have lost their first seven games after the All-Star break since 1991, when they dropped eight in a row.

Span had four singles, stole a base and drove in a run off Alfredo Simon (12-5), who has lost both starts since his first All-Star selection. The Nationals piled up nine hits, two walks and three runs off Simon in only 4 1-3 innings.

Span is 9 for 18 on Washington's road trip with two four-hit games.

''He's been great,'' manager Matt Williams said. ''The key for him is hitting the ball back through the middle. We've seen that over the last week or so, hitting the ball up the middle or the other way.''

Heading into the All-Star break, the Reds won seven of nine at home, cutting their deficit in the NL Central from seven games to 1 1-2. Their worst road trip in five years wiped out most of their gains, but they had hoped to get their offense back in form at hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park.

Roark allowed a run in the fourth when Billy Hamilton singled, stole second and came around on Ryan Ludwick's infield single. Otherwise, the Reds got only one other runner to second base.

During the seven-game losing streak, Cincinnati has batted .176 as a team while scoring a total of 13 runs.

''It's just really a mental game,'' manager Bryan Price said. ''When we were going good before the break, nobody was pressing. Now, everybody's pressing. We can't get our offense going because we're not getting a lot of baserunners.''

Washington had at least one hit in each of the first six innings, with four players having multi-hit games. The Nationals put five hits together in the fourth for three runs, including Zach Walters' RBI double, Span's single and Anthony Rendon's run-scoring single. Adam LaRoche singled home a run in the sixth off J.J. Hoover.

Walters was called up Wednesday to fill in while Ryan Zimmerman is disabled by a pulled hamstring.

NOTES: LHP Gio Gonzalez (6-5) starts Saturday for the Nationals. He's 2-0 with a 1.00 ERA in four career starts against Cincinnati. Johnny Cueto (10-6) had his worst start of the season in Washington on May 20, giving up eight runs in only 5 1-3 innings of a 9-4 loss. ... Nationals RF Jayson Werth was back after missing the last game with a sore right knee. ... Reds SS Zack Cozart was hitless, extending his slump to 0 for 17. ... 1B Joey Votto continues to do rehab for the strained muscles above his left knee. He's been on the DL since July 8. ''I think we need to let a few more weeks go by before we can really start to see that there's a point in time when we know he's going to be back,'' Price said.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Washington

D. Span
AB 5
R 1
H 4
HR 0
RBI 1
Washington

A. LaRoche
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Washington Nationals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLG
Denard Span, CF5141000.289.339.398
Anthony Rendon, 3B4021101.281.335.469
Jayson Werth, RF3000104.283.371.447
Adam LaRoche, 1B4021114.277.381.453
Ian Desmond, SS5000017.253.301.440
Bryce Harper, LF4110120.264.346.396
Wilson Ramos, C5120012.301.341.405
Zach Walters, 2B4111023.211.268.474
   Danny Espinosa, 2B0000000.214.281.351
Tanner Roark, P3000023.135.135.135
   a-Scott Hairston, PH1000000.229.250.333
   Tyler Clippard, P0000000.000.000.000
   Rafael Soriano, P0000000.000.000.000
Totals38412449    
a-fouled out for Roark in the 8th
Batting
2B - Adam LaRoche (13, Simon), Zach Walters (1, Simon)
RBI - Denard Span (21), Anthony Rendon (55), Adam LaRoche (52), Zach Walters (5)
2-OUT RBI - Anthony Rendon (21), Adam LaRoche (11)
SB - Denard Span (18, 2nd base off Simon/Mesoraco)
Team LOB - 12
Washington Nationals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Tanner Roark (W,10-6) 7311160 2.82
Tyler Clippard (H,22) 1000010 1.88
Rafael Soriano (S,24) 1100120 1.13
HBP - Mesoraco (by Tanner Roark)
Pitches-Strikes - Tanner Roark 94-57, Tyler Clippard 7-5, Rafael Soriano 25-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tanner Roark 6-9, Tyler Clippard 1-1
Batters Faced - Tanner Roark 26, Tyler Clippard 3, Rafael Soriano 5
Cincinnati Reds
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLG
Billy Hamilton, CF4110000.281.312.419
Skip Schumaker, 2B3000101.244.294.323
Todd Frazier, 3B4000022.280.341.483
Ryan Ludwick, LF3011120.262.323.393
Jay Bruce, RF4000022.219.300.389
Devin Mesoraco, C3010010.289.361.573
Brayan Pena, 1B4010002.251.282.386
Zack Cozart, SS3000012.225.276.293
Alfredo Simon, P1000000.132.154.158
   J.J. Hoover, P0000000.0001.000.000
   a-Kris Negron, PH1000000.200.273.800
   Sam LeCure, P0000000.000.000.000
   Curtis Partch, P0000000.000.000.000
   b-Chris Heisey, PH1000010.231.286.376
   Carlos Contreras, P0000000.000.000.000
Totals3114129    
a-flied out for Hoover in the 6th
b-struck out for Partch in the 8th
Batting
2B - Devin Mesoraco (16, Soriano)
RBI - Ryan Ludwick (27)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Ludwick (14)
SB - Billy Hamilton (41, 2nd base off Roark/Ramos)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Jay Bruce 1
E - Skip Schumaker (2, Throwing)
Cincinnati Reds
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Alfredo Simon (L,12-5) 4.1933230 2.86
J.J. Hoover 1.2211120 5.36
Sam LeCure 1000020 3.41
Curtis Partch 1100100 0.00
Carlos Contreras 1000020 1.93
HBP - Werth (by Alfredo Simon)
Pitches-Strikes - Alfredo Simon 89-59, J.J. Hoover 28-19, Sam LeCure 19-13, Curtis Partch 19-11, Carlos Contreras 16-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Alfredo Simon 5-4, Sam LeCure 1-0, Curtis Partch 2-1, Carlos Contreras 1-0
Batters Faced - Alfredo Simon 24, J.J. Hoover 8, Sam LeCure 3, Curtis Partch 5, Carlos Contreras 3
Game Information
Attendance - 38812
Game Time - 3:07
Temperature - 76
Umpires - Home - Mark Carlson, First Base - Jeff Nelson, Second Base - Toby Basner, Third Base - Laz Diaz