THE RESULT:  Stephen Strasburg held the Cincinnati Reds down long enough for his Washington Nationals teammates to break through against Bronson Arroyo, chipping away with a run in the fourth and two more in the fifth -- before breaking through for four more in the sixth -- and then held on despite some nervous times for an 8-5 win before a sellout crowd of 37,868 at Great American Ballpark.

It was the first time in four years that Cincinnati had sold out a weeknight game.  The previous time was for half-price tickets and $1 hot dogs.

The win breaks a four-game losing streak and the Nats record stands at 41-54.

Strasburg went 5 2/3 innings, allowing three earned runs.  He scattered seven hits and one walk, striking out seven.  He gave up a run in the third when Brandon Phillips hit a ball to straight center that Nyjer Morgan played awkwardly and it went for a triple, and Orlando Cabrera singled him in.

But he held the top offense in the National League to that one run until the Nats bats came alive again.

Roger Bernadina knocked in Adam Dunn with a sacrifice fly in the fourth, and Cristian Guzman hit his second home run of the season in the fifth with Ian Desmond aboard, all against Reds starter Arroyo (L, 10-5, 4.26)

The Nats broke out in the sixth for the second night in a row.  Desmond hit a bases loaded two-run single and Nyjer Morgan had a clutch two-run single two batters later.

After sitting for a stretch while the Nats poured four runs across the plate, Strasburg (W, 5-2, 2.32) was visibly upset when Manager Jim Riggleman came to get him with two outs in the sixth inning, but by then he started to leave some pitches up.  Joey Votto and Jay Bruce both singled, and Miguel Cairo cashed them in with a two-run opposite field two-out hit.

Drew Storen came on and struck Drew Stubbs out on three sliders to end the frame.

Storen got into his own trouble in the seventh, allowing two hits and a walk before striking out Orlando Cabrera for the first out.  Sean Burnett retired Votto on a gorund ball, but another run came in onthe paly.  Tyler Clippard then struck out Jonny Gomes (0-for-4, 3 Ks) to get out of the jam.

But Clippard got right back into hot water.  He walked two in the eighth before getting lifted for Matt Capps.  Pinch-hitter Chris Heisey greeted Capps with a run-scoring single, but Capps got Brandon Phillips to hit into a fielder's choice to finish the eighth, and struck out two in the ninth to complete his 24th save of the season.

Willie Harris gave the Nats some insurance in the ninth with his fifth home run of the season off All-Star reliever Arthur Rhodes.

THE GOOD:  Cristian Guzman went 2-for-5 with two RBIs.  Ian Desmond scored twice with two RBIs.  Ryan Zimmerman went 2-for-5 with a run scored.

THE BAD:  Adam Dunn went 0-for-4 and is 0-for-10 with three walks thus far in the series with the Reds.

THE UGLY:  Ivan Rodriguez went 0-for-4 and had one hit in his last 20 at bats. Since peaking at .449 on April 22, Rodriguez is hitting .235/.260/.306 in 193 plate appearances.

THE STATS:  The Nats were 4-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left five men on base.  They struck out four times and walked three times.

NEXT GAME:  Thursday at 12:35 pm against Cincinnati.  Livan Hernandez (6-6) takes on Edinson Volquez (1-0).

NATS NOTES:  Jordan Zimmermann made another rehab start for Class-A Potomac.  He gave up no runs, allowing two hits and no walks in four innings, striking out four.  In 13 innings of rehab starts, Zimmermann has allowed zero earned runs and walked none.  He should make his start for Low-A Hagerstown beginning of the week.

Ross Detwiler made his longest start of the season, going seven innings for Double-A Harrisburg.  He did not allow a run and gave up five hits and one walk, striking out seven.  Detwiler is 2-2 with a 2.48 ERA with Harrisburg.

Luis Atilano complained of some soreness in his elbow after Tuesday's night's loss, and will be scratched for Sunday afternoon's start.  The Nats have not indicated who will make that start yet.

1 comments

  1. Cheryl Nichols // July 22, 2010 at 12:11 AM  

    The power of Strasburg = The Hit King Pete Rose went to the park to see him pitch! Nice. (Also heard that the Reds did a tribute to him before the game and he got a standing ovation. Cool).