|Photo by USA Today|
Back in Washington's lineup is Anthony Rendon who will play third base and bat seventh. Danny Espinosa is hitting second as Steve Lombardozzi gets a rest. Everything else is pretty much as expected.
The Reds will pitch Mike Leake (1-0, 3.81 ERA), a former 8th overall pick. Leake has faced the Nationals seven different times in his young career, allowing 23 earned runs in 39 1/3 innings (a 5.26 ERA. After seeing their offense take a step back last night, maybe the Nats can get things going again against a guy they have been able to bat around in the past.
Updates to come...
CINCINNATI REDS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EDT
TV: FOX, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM)
Weather: Sunny, 72 degrees, Wind 6 mph in from LF
CF Denard Span
2B Danny Espinosa
LF Bryce Harper
RF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
3B Anthony Rendon
C Kurt Suzuki
RHP Dan Haren
CF Shin-Soo Choo
SS Zack Cozart
1B Joey Votto
2B Brandon Phillips
RF Jay Bruce
LF Chris Heisey
3B Jack Hannahan
C Devin Mesoraco
RHP Mike Leake
HP Rob Drake
1B Sam Holbrook (cc)
2B Paul Nauert
3B Andy Fletcher
12:48 p.m. -- Absolutely beautiful day here at Nationals Park as the crowd pours in, getting ready for first pitch in just a little bit.
1:11 p.m. -- Haren gets through the first inning looking sharp with just ten pitches (seven strikes) needed. He is grooving his fastball at 90 mph and got Zack Cozart to strike out with a 85 mph splitter. Joey Votto flied out to the wall the end the inning. On to the bottom of the first.
1:21 p.m. -- The Nats got a runner on as Danny Espinosa drew a walk on a full count against Leake with one out. He never got past first, however, as both Harper and Werth flew out to left field. Werth's looked like it may have been something at first, a line drive into left-center. But Jay Bruce got a good jump on it and reeled it in on the run. On to the second we go after Leake threw 16 pitches (9 strikes) in the first.
1:28 p.m. -- Haren gave up a single to lead off the inning to Brandon Phillips, but had no trouble getting three outs right after. He got Bruce to pop up behind home plate, then induced a 5-4-3 double play on a Heisey groundball. Efficient through two, Haren is at 21 pitches (15 strikes).
1:47 p.m. -- Patient hitting is the recipe for success today against Leake. With one out both Desmond and Rendon got on with walks, prompting a mound visit. One out later Dan Haren poked a single to right field to score Desmond, then Span smacked one up the middle to score the rookie. 2-0 Nats with Leake at 46 pitches through two innings.
1:55 p.m. -- Haren followed up his strong inning at the plate with another crisp one on the mound. He needed just 14 pitches to set down three, striking out the last two batters. He has 35 (24 strikes) pitches through three.
2:10 p.m. -- Two more runs for the Nats in the third inning as they take a 4-0 lead over the Reds. Harper got them started with a single to left field and was joined on base by Werth who hit a hard grounder to short, Cozart couldn't make the throw in time. Desmond then singled home Harper and Werth was brought in by a Jack Hannahan throwing error to second. Leake has already thrown 71 pitches (44 strikes) after three.
2:23 p.m. -- No longer a one-hit bid here as Dan Haren allows a pair to Votto and Phillips. Votto doubled with two outs and was then brought home by Phillips on a single. Now 4-1 Nats as we head to the bottom of the fourth. Haren at 56 pitches (37 strikes).
2:33 p.m. -- The Nats get two more runs on Bryce Harper's ninth home run of the season, a shot to right field. He scored Denard Span to secure his 17th and 18th RBI of the year, setting a team record for the month of April. It's early, just the 24th game of the year, but Harper is currently hitting .373 with 9 HR, 18 RBI, and 17 R.
2:48 p.m. -- Dan Haren may actually get to the sixth inning today, everyone. he needed just 11 pitches to get through the fifth. The Nats had a leadoff single by Rendon in the bottom of the inning, but three straight outs set them down.
3:01 p.m. -- Haren finally started looking shaky in the sixth with a leadoff home run to Choo then a single to Cozart. Denard Span made a beautiful leaping catch at the wall to get Votto out before Phillips grounded into a double play. Zach Duke is up in the bullpen so we'll see if Haren goes any longer. He's at 88 (56 strikes) after making it through the sixth inning for the first time as a Nationals pitcher.
3:14 p.m. -- The Nats got two runners on with one-out walks by Harper and Werth. Harper, however, was then thrown out trying to steal third and Adam LaRoche (surprise) grounded out to end the inning. Haren is out after 88 pitches with Duke taking over in the top of the seventh.
3:37 p.m. -- The Reds were able to make it interesting in the seventh as Duke continues to have a rough 2013 season. Bruce got on because of a Danny Espinosa throwing error to first. He was moved to third by Mesoraco on a sac fly, Xavier Paul was walked prior to the out and reached second. Duke was then replaced by Clippard who gave up an RBI single to a pinch-hitting Todd Frazier. Choo walked to load the bases. Cozart then ended the inning on a long fly ball tracked down by Span. Span has saved two potentially daggers in center field today.
3:46 p.m. -- Nats go down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the seventh and now have Drew Storen out to set up. 6-3 Nats as we head to the top of the eighth.
3:55 p.m. -- As well as this game started for the Nats, the Reds keep reminding them it's not over. In the bottom of the eighth Cincy got two men on with singles off Drew Storen. Xavier Paul then came up to represent the tying run, but hit a hard grounder to Desmond who started the double play. Another 'whew' inning for the Nats as we head to the ninth.
4:03 p.m. -- No one on for the Nats in the bottom of the eighth as Lombardozzi and Span struck out before Espinosa popped out against Sean Marshall. Rafael Soriano will now take the mound looking to put the seal on this thing.
4:09 p.m. -- Soriano goes 1-2-3, Nats win their third straight game to reach 13-11 on the year.