Six-run 7th powers Reds to sweep Nats
CINCINNATI -- For a second straight day, the Reds' bats came alive late to complete a three-game series sweep of the Nationals, 8-2, on Sunday at Great American Ball Park. It was only the second time this season the Reds swept an opponent and the first time since April 24-26 that the Nationals were swept.
"Things didn't go our way, but we have a chance to correct that tomorrow," Nationals manager Matt Williams said.
The Reds sent 10 men to the plate to score six runs in the bottom of the seventh inning after the Nationals had tied the game in the top half. Brandon Phillips started the rally against reliever Aaron Barrett with an RBI single, while Todd Frazier had an RBI double and Jay Bruce had a two-run double against Matt Grace to help continue the scoring frenzy.
"I just thought, from an offensive standpoint, we just really had some outstanding at-bats," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "The inning there in the seventh, where we scored the six runs, you get six hits in the inning -- an inning that started off with an infield hit by a guy who comes in as a substitution."
J.J. Hoover picked up his second win in two days on Sunday, despite giving up the game-tying two-run single by Michael Taylor in the top of the seventh. Hoover inherited a bases-loaded, one-out jam from starting pitcher Michael Lorenzen. Lorenzen went 6 1/3 innings for the Reds, giving up two earned runs with one hit, but he also walked six batters.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Phillips drives in winning run: After giving up a two-run lead in the top half of the seventh, the Reds responded in the bottom half to regain the lead. Phillips hit a single to left field to bring in center fielder Billy Hamilton from second base to put the Reds back on top, 3-2. Phillips finished the game 2-for-5 with a solo homer in the fifth inning that snapped an 0-for-18 hitting streak.
Nailed at the plate: The Nationals' first chance to score came in the second inning. Right-hander Tanner Roark doubled to right-center field, but Taylor was thrown out at the plate. It was Roark's second career double.
Frazier hits bomb to left: Frazier broke the scoreless tie and early no-hit bid for Roark in the bottom of the fourth with a home run to left field. It was Frazier's 16th home run of the season and third in his past four games. Frazier's home run started a three-hit game to finish the series 8-for-12. More >
"It was a fun series," Frazier said. "That's what we need to do. Come and attack and be the best that we can be, and that's what we did these three games. It's a good lift for us going into the off-day, and now off to Philly."
Taylor comes through with bases juiced: Taylor is now 2-for-3 with the bases loaded this season. In the seventh inning, Taylor singled to left field, scoring Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman, and tying the game at 2.
"[Taylor] has had five RBIs in the last two games. He is being productive, which is good," Williams said.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
When their opponents score first this season, the Nationals are 10-14. When they are trailing after seven innings, the Nationals are 1-17.
Denard Span left the game after seven innings due to a sore right knee. More >
Nationals: They return to Washington to play a three-game series against the Blue Jays starting Monday at 7:05 p.m. ET. The last time these two teams met was in 2012, when the Nationals swept the three-game series in Toronto. On Monday, Jordan Zimmermann will face R.A. Dickey. The two have squared off twice, when Dickey was a member of the Mets (April 8, 2011 and September 11, 2012). Washington won both contests.
Reds: Johnny Cueto returns for Cincinnati in the three-game series opener against the Phillies on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. ET at Citizens Bank Park. Cueto, who is 3-4 with a 3.03 ERA in nine starts, is making his first start since May 19 against Kansas City after missing one start with right elbow stiffness.
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