BY: Zane Miller
PHOTO Credit: David Jablonski/Dayton Daily News
The Reds split their doubleheader against the Washington Nationals, winning the first game on Saturday afternoon 7-1, but losing on Saturday night 6-2.
The first game, which was postponed from Friday night after being rained out, saw the Reds get on the board first as right fielder Brandon Dixon hit an RBI fielder’s choice in the first inning, followed by a three run home run by left fielder Phillip Ervin in the second. However, the Nationals responded with an RBI fielder’s choice from first baseman Ryan Zimmerman in the bottom of the inning. However, the rest of the game would be all Reds as Dixon hit a solo homer in the third and third baseman Eugenio Suarez added an RBI single in the fourth and Ervin hit an RBI sacrifice fly to give the Reds the 7-1 win.
Reds starting pitcher Anthony DeSclafani went seven innings in the win, giving up one earned run on six hits and one walk. Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez took the loss, going three and two thirds innings and giving up five earned runs on 10 hits and two walks.
In the second game, the Reds again scored in the first inning as shortstop Jose Peraza added a solo homer, but the Nationals responded in the bottom of the inning as third baseman Anthony Rendon tied it up with an RBI double. The Nationals took the lead with an RBI single by second baseman Wilmer Difo in the second and an RBI double by first baseman Matt Adams in the third. The Reds cut the lead in half in the fourth as Suarez hit a solo home run, but that would be all the offense the Reds would get as Rendon came back with another RBI double in the bottom of the inning and Adams hit a solo shot followed by Difo tacking on an RBI double in the fifth as the Nationals took it 6-2.
Nationals starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson earned the win with two earned runs allowed on four hits and no walks over five and two thirds innings, while Reds starter Matt Harvey took the loss with four innings pitched, allowing five earned runs on nine hits and two walks.
The teams will finish off the series on Sunday afternoon.