WASHINGTON — The Cincinnati Reds had squandered a 4-1 lead late in Saturday night’s game and it seemed just a matter of time before the Nationals completed a comeback win.
Instead the Reds pulled away.
Tucker Barnhart singled home the tiebreaking run in the 10th inning to lead Cincinnati to a 9-4 victory over the Nationals, snapping the Reds’ five-game losing streak.
“We’ve kind of struggled to get separation from teams late in games, but to be able to get that tonight and hold on for a win is big,” said Barnhart, who has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 starts.
Cincinnati scored on a fielding error and a wild pitch, and Jose Peraza and Jay Bruce also had RBIs in the five-run 10th.
Josh Smith (1-1) pitched 1 1/3 innings for his first career win.
“It’s really fitting that Tucker gets that hit in the tenth because we’ve been together since 2010 (when) I got drafted,” Smith said.
Eugenio Saurez and Brandon Phillips opened the 10th with singles off Sammy Solis (1-3) and first baseman Ryan Zimmerman was unable to field Billy Hamilton’s sacrifice attempt, loading the bases.
Barnhart singled to right for his third hit of the game to drive in Suarez. Phillips also scored on the play when Bryce Harper booted the ball for an error. Hamilton later scored on a wild pitch, and Peraza had an RBI single and Bruce a run-scoring groundout.
“We really did show some resiliency for a team that could be packing it in,” manager Bryan Price said. “And they haven’t (packed it in), so I’m really pleased with that.”
Danny Espinosa hit his 16th homer for the Nationals, who had won six straight after losing seven in a row.
“I think that was Harp’s first error of the year and Zim’s second, they’re usually sure-handed guys,” Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. “These things happen, they don’t happen to us much, but especially (not) to guys who committed one error between them.”
Washington trailed 4-1 entering the eighth, but Espinosa had a two-run homer off starter Don Straily and Harper added an RBI single to tie the score.
Zack Cozart had three hits for the Reds and Adam Duvall doubled twice. After allowing 17 runs in his last three starts, Straily took a one-hitter into the eighth.
“We were happy to see him leave to tell you the truth,” Baker said.
Washington starter Joe Ross was touched for four runs on 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings. He allowed three runs and two hits with four strikeouts and three walks.
Ross, who gave up three runs in the first three innings before winning his last start, again struggled early.
The first two Reds hitters reached base to open the game and came home on Duvall’s double. Brandon Phillips, batting sixth for the first time this season, singled home Duvall.
Cozart’s double made it 4-0 in the second, then Ben Revere had an RBI triple in the third to get the Nationals on the board.
Washington was out-hit 14-3 and committed two errors to Cincinnati’s one. However, the Nationals made their hits count, as each of them knocked at least one runner in.
Reds: Price said 1B Joey Votto (sore right shoulder) is day-to-day after being a late scratch. He banged his shoulder diving into second base during Friday night’s game. … RHP Homer Bailey (elbow surgery) threw 38 pitches on Saturday night in his second rehab appearance with Triple-A Louisville, allowing a run and five hits in two innings.
Nationals: Baker said after the game that RHP Stephen Strasburg (back, ribs) will come off the off the DL and take his turn Sunday. Strasburg hasn’t started since June 15. … RHP Jonathan Papelbon (right intercostal strain) threw a scoreless inning Saturday night in his second rehab appearance for Double-A Harrisburg.
Duvall is only the third Reds hitter with at least 19 doubles, 22 home runs and 58 RBIs prior to the All-Star Game (since 1933), joining Gus Bell in 1953 and Johnny Bench in 1970.
Revere saved at least two runs with a diving catch in short center to end the fifth and a leaping catch at the wall for the last out of the sixth. Between the two superb catches, his RBI triple Saturday night and his walkoff double Friday night, Revere is having a strong July Fourth weekend.
Reds: LHP John Lamb (1-4, 4.60) has allowed two earned runs or less in four of his last six starts with only one win to show for it.
Nationals: Strasburg (10-0, 2.90) returns from the disabled list to face the Reds. He got a no-decision June 4 in Cincinnati when he allowed three runs on four hits in 5 1/3 innings.
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