One of the most head-scratching trades in recent memory continues to pay dividends for the Washington Nationals.
Doug Fister, obtained by the Nats in the offseason for Steve Lombardozzi and Robbie Ray, was excellent yet again, throwing seven stellar innings for the Nationals, leading them to a 4-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ballpark.The game was scoreless until the fifth inning, when the Nats finally got to Reds starter mat Latos. Danny Espinosa led off with a soft line drive single to center. Jose Lobaton flied out, then Doug Fister bunted Espinosa over to second.
Latos then lost control. Denard Span drew a seven-pitch walk and then hit Anthony Rendon to load the bases. Jayson Werth got down 0-2 but battled back to draw another walk, forcing in the Nats first run. After a visit from the Reds pitching coach, Adam LaRoche’s soft liner to left field plated two more runs to put the Nats up 3-0.
The rest was Fister. He allowed just three hits and one walk in seven innings pitched. The tall righty struck out five and generated 11 ground ball outs, throwing 76 of his 104 pitches for strikes.
The Nats got an insurance run in the top of the ninth. With two outs, pinch-hitter Nate McLouth reached on Skip Schumaker’s second throwing error of the day, then went to second on Span’s walk. Rendon followed with a single to right field that scored McLouth to make it 4-0.
The Reds made things interesting in the bottom of inning. Aaron Barrett gave up consecutive singles to Frazier and Jay Bruce with no outs, prompting manager Matt Williams to get his closer, Rafael Soriano.
Soriano promptly allowed a double to All-Star catcher Devin Mesoroco, which drove in both runs. But he buckled down and retired the next three in order for his 25th save of the season.
- Denard Span went hitless, but drew four walks.
- Anthony Rendon stole his 10th base of the season and made a tremendous diving play to rob Todd Frazier of a hit and end the sixth inning.
- Tyler Clippard threw a scoreless eighth inning, allowing a single and striking out one.