December 14, 2019

Washington Nationals Game 100 Review: Roark, Span lead Nats over Reds

NATIONALS EXTEND N.L. EAST LEAD TO 2 1/2 GAMES

Behind a masterful performance from starter Tanner Roark — and a four-hit effort from Denard Span — the Washington Nationals knocked off the Cincinnati Reds 4-1 Friday at Great American Ballpark.

Roark allowed just three hits and a walk over seven innings to earn his 10th win of the season, tops on the Nationals staff.

The Nats had no problem getting base runners early against Reds All-Star starter Alfredo Simon, but couldn’t break through until the fourth inning. Bryce Harper led off the inning with a single and went to second on Wilson Ramos’ line drive to right center. Zach Walters then laced a double to the right field corner that scored Harper and moved Ramos to third.

Denard Span followed with a single that plated Ramos, but figuring third base coach Bob Henley would send Walters, Span got caught between first and second for an easy out. It didn’t matter though, as Anthony Rendon singled over the shortstop to bring home Walters for a 3-0 lead.

The Reds got one back in the bottom of the inning. Billy Hamilton singled over Ian Desmond’s outstretched leap, stole second, went to third on a groundout, then scored when Ryan Ludwick’s “excuse me” swing deflected off Roark’s glove and Walters as second couldn’t make the play.

Adam LaRoche’s two-out single up the middle in the sixth inning pushed the lead to 4-1. Span singled with one out and went to second on a walk by Rendon. He scored without a throw on LaRoche’s hit.

  • Roark was masterful. In seven innings, he allowed just three hits and one walk, striking out six. He lowered his season ERA to 2.82.
  • Span continued his hot streak. His 4-for-5 night raised his batting average for the season to .289. It was the 20th time in his career to amass four hits in one game.
  • Harper made a dazzling diving catch in the sixth inning behind Roark. He rolled his injured left wrist on the catch and manager Matt Williams and the team trainer came out to look at him, but he stayed in the game.
  • With 12 hits, it marks the eighth consecutive game the Nats have pounded out 10 or more hits.
  • Rafael Soriano gave up a walk and ground rule double, but didn’t allow a run, in the ninth inning for his 24th save of the season.
About Dave Nichols

Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Washington Nationals, Capitals, Wizards and Mystics. Dave also covers national college football and basketball and Major League Soccer for Associated Press and is a copy editor for the Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, WA. He spent four years in radio covering the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Redskins and the University of Maryland football and basketball teams. Dave is a life-long D.C. sports fan and attended his first pro game in 1974 — the Caps’ second game in existence. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveNicholsDSP

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