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Nationals 6, Reds 3

The SportsXchange

WASHINGTON -- Right-hander Dan Haren had his best start of the season and Bryce Harper hit his ninth home run as the Washington Nationals beat the Cincinnati Reds, 6-3, on a sun-splashed Saturday.

The Nationals (13-11) won their third game in a row in the four-game series after losing six consecutive home games.

The Reds (13-12) are 1-8 on the road this season, the fewest road victories by any major league team. Cincinnati has been outscored, 15-4, in this series.

Haren (2-3), who allowed four home runs in a 15-0 loss at Cincinnati on April 5, gave up a solo home run to Shin-Soo Choo to lead off the sixth to make it 6-2.

After a single by Zack Cozart, Joey Votto was robbed of extra bases when Washington center fielder Denard Span made a leaping catch at the fence in front of the Reds' bullpen in left-center.

Haren then induced Brandon Phillips to hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the sixth.

Zach Duke took over in the seventh for Haren, who allowed six hits and two runs with no walks and five strikeouts after he entered the game with an ERA of 7.36.

Duke was replaced with two out and two on in the seventh by Tyler Clippard, who gave up an RBI single to pinch-hitter Todd Frazier to make the score 6-3.

Clippard walked Choo to load the bases and after a visit by pitching coach Steve McCatty, the right-hander got Cozart to line out to Span in left-center to end the seventh.

Drew Storen pitched the eighth and escaped a threat when he got Xavier Paul to ground into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning. Closer Rafael Soriano pitched the ninth for Washington.

Cincinnati starter Mike Leake (1-1) failed to go six innings for the first time this season.

Reds' reliever Alfredo Simon allowed two runs in three innings and was replaced in the seventh by J.J. Hoover, who retired all three batters.

Left-hander Sean Marshall, just off the disabled list, pitched the eighth for the Reds and struck out two of the three batters he faced.

Harper hit a two-run home run in the fourth off Reds' reliever Alfredo Simon, who took over for Leake, to give the Nationals a 6-1 lead.

The Nationals took a 3-0 lead in the third on an RBI single by Ian Desmond to drive in Harper, who led off with a single.

The Nationals made it 4-0 when Jayson Werth came in to score after Reds' third baseman Jack Hannahan threw wide of second on a possible force following an infield single by Kurt Suzuki off Leake, who lasted three innings and gave up four runs (three earned), six hits and three walks.

Washington built a 2-0 lead in the second on back-to-back two-out RBI singles by Haren and leadoff man Span.

Haren was trying to follow in the footsteps of fellow starters Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann. Haren gave up a run in the fourth, when Brandon Phillips singled to score Joey Votto, who had doubled, to make it 4-1. It was the first run in 18 innings for the Reds.

Gonzalez allowed one hit and one run in eight innings Thursday while Zimmermann pitched a complete-game, one-hitter in a 1-0 victory Friday over the Reds.

It was the first time since July 5-6, 1900, that the Reds were the victims of consecutive one-hitters. The last time a team from Washington threw back-to-back one-hitters was Aug. 10-11, 1917, against the White Sox.

NOTES: Reds' left-hander Sean Marshall (tendinitis, left shoulder) returned from a rehab assignment and was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list, while LHP Manny Parra was put on the disabled list because of a strained left pectoral muscle before Friday's game. ... Washington's Wilson Ramos caught three innings and came to the plate twice (walk, fly out) in his first rehab appearance with Double-A Harrisburg at Bowie on Friday night. "The reports were good," Doug Harris, the director of player development for Washington, said Saturday from Syracuse. Harris said Ramos, who went on the 15-day disabled list on April 14 because of a left hamstring strain, should see play behind the plate Saturday night when Harrisburg plays at Bowie, Harris said. ... Washington manager Davey Johnson was the Reds' skipper from 1993-95. ... Xavier Paul entered the game in left in the last of the third for the Reds, replacing Chris Heisey. Before the bottom of the second Heisey, was examined by an athletic trainer near second base but stayed in the game. Heisey left the game because of a strained right hamstring. He hit into a double play in the second.
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