The Cincinnati Reds endured a long rain delay and 12 innings before finally outlasting the Washington Nationals. The Reds will now attempt to sweep them on the road for the first time in over two years Thursday when they conclude their three-game set.
Cincinnati (31-27) needed a two-out RBI double from pinch-hitter Jonny Gomes(notes) in the 12th inning to regain the lead for good and defeat Washington 4-2 on Wednesday. That hit came after a 2-hour, 10-minute rain delay in the bottom of the ninth, and Reds closer Francisco Cordero(notes) blowing his first save while squandering a two-run lead to force extra innings.
“The bottom line is that we won. That’s not how we drew it up, that’s not how you would have scripted it,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said following Wednesday’s victory. “We were out here a little later, a little longer than we planned.”
The Reds are now in position to sweep the Nationals at Washington for the first time since a three-game set from April 24-26, 2006. Cincinnati then lost six straight in the nation’s capital before Tuesday’s win.
The right-hander is 0-4 with a 5.68 ERA in his last five games, starting four of them. He hasn’t won since beating Arizona 3-1 on May 12. However, he hasn’t received much help during his losing streak, getting five total runs of support.
Owings was victimized by the lineup’s struggles again Friday, when he allowed two runs and five hits with six strikeouts in six innings in a 2-1 loss to Chicago.
Owings is 1-2 with a 3.86 ERA in four starts against the Nationals, including a 1-1 record and 2.53 ERA in two starts at Washington.
The Nationals (15-42), who fell to 0-8 in extra-inning games, own the worst record in baseball. They’ve also dropped 24 of their last 29 to fall 19 games behind NL East-leading Philadelphia.
“The extra-inning thing carries back from the days when our bullpen was struggling,” Nationals manager Manny Acta said. “But right now, our bullpen is throwing a lot better, and we just haven’t been able to get the big hit.”
One of the Nationals struggling at the plate is Nick Johnson(notes), who went 0 for 5 on Wednesday. The first baseman is 4 for 23 (.174) with a homer and four RBIs over the last six games, dropping his batting average 17 points to .313.
The left-hander allowed one unearned run and four hits while throwing his first complete game in a 7-1 win over the New York Mets on Saturday. That performance came after he went 0-2 with a 4.76 ERA in his four previous starts.
“The last couple of innings I felt really good,” said Lannan, who induced 19 groundball outs and threw 61 of his 96 pitches for strikes. “I haven’t felt that good in a while.”
Lannan is 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA in two starts against Cincinnati.