Friedl’s 3-run homer helps Reds surge past Nationals, 6-2

WASHINGTON (AP) — TJ Friedl hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the sixth inning, Colin Moran also went deep in his return to the majors and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Washington Nationals 6-2 on Saturday night.

Kyle Farmer added a first-inning homer for Cincinnati, which has won back-to-back games against the Nationals after dropping 12 of its previous 16.

Lane Thomas hit his 13th home run for Washington, which has lost five of six and at 42-85 owns the worst record in the majors.

The Reds put two on with one out in the sixth to chase Nationals starter Paolo Espino (0-6). Jake McGee, the lone left-hander in Washington’s bullpen, entered to face the left-handed hitting Friedl. After McGee got ahead 1-2, Friedl lofted a slider just over the fence in right-center to make it 4-1.

“I saw the slider earlier in the at-bat that I fouled out and that last one was the same pitch, just a little more on the plate and I put a good swing on it,” Friedl said.

Two batters later, Moran — who was called up earlier in the day after being demoted to Triple-A Louisville on June 13 — also homered on a 1-2 slider.

“Another tough at-bat off a left-hander,” Cincinnati manager David Bell said. “That’s what he’s done. He’s just had a nice, long, good career and he was able to contribute for us tonight.”

Ian Gibaut (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings to earn his first win in the majors since Sept. 11, 2019. Alexis Díaz entered with two on and two outs in the eighth and needed one pitch to induce Keibert Ruiz’s groundout. Díaz then worked the ninth to earn his sixth save.

Espino yielded three runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings while striking out four. Washington starting pitchers have not recorded a victory in 43 consecutive games, a major league record.

Cincinnati starter Luis Cessa allowed four hits in four innings, including Thomas’ blast down the left-field line in the second. It was his longest major league outing since he pitched four innings of relief for the New York Yankees against Boston on June 30, 2019.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Reds: Cincinnati placed INF Mike Moustakas (left calf strain) on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Wednesday. Moustakas is batting .214 with seven homers and 25 RBIs. It is Moustakas’ second IL trip because of a calf injury this month and sixth time on the IL this season. “He has a grade 2 calf strain,” Bell said. “Last time was a grade 1, so he will not be back at the end of the 10 days.” … Bell said OF Nick Senzel (left hamstring tightness) underwent an MRI and remains day to day. … OF Albert Almora Jr. (right shoulder) threw and hit off a tee Saturday.

Nationals: Washington transferred OF Yadiel Hernandez (left calf strain) to the 60-day injured list, effectively ending his season. Hernandez hit .269 with nine homers and 41 RBIs before going on the injured list Aug. 20. … LHP Seth Romero was activated from the 60-day injured list and optioned to Double-A Harrisburg. … Manager Dave Martinez said RHP Will Harris (pectoral surgery) should begin throwing again soon.

REDS ADD ANDERSON

Cincinnati signed RHP Chase Anderson to a minor league contract and assigned him to the taxi squad. Anderson, an eight-year veteran, has spent this season in the Detroit and Tampa Bay systems. Bell said Anderson will start Monday against St. Louis.

“I haven’t thrown over two innings in like a month, but I feel like I could throw three or four innings right now,” Anderson said. “I feel healthy and I feel good, so I look forward to building up a little and giving this team what they need this next month as a starter and hopefully eat some innings and stabilize this rotation a little bit.”

UP NEXT

Reds: Rookie LHP Nick Lodolo (3-4, 4.35 ERA) faces Washington for the first time in his career as the three-game series concludes.

Nationals: LHP Patrick Corbin (4-17, 6.81) allowed three runs in six innings to earn a victory June 5 in his only start against Cincinnati this season.

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