Nats hammer the Reds
Anthony Rendon, Kurt Suzuki and Adam Eaton hit homers in a 10-run fifth that included an RBI single from Stephen Strasburg, and the Washington Nationals tacked on another six runs in the next inning of what became a 17-7 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday, completing a three-game series sweep.
This marked the first time since the Nationals moved from Montreal in 2005 that every member of the team's lineup scored in a single inning. The NL wild-card leaders broke loose against Trevor Bauer for their biggest inning of the season; they scored 11 in an inning at Colorado in 2017.
The sixth Wednesday wasn't too shabby, either, as Washington batted around again, much to the delight of a crowd of 23,596 that showed up for the unusual 4:05 p.m. weekday start.
By the time that inning was done, the club's eight position players each had scored twice and the score was 17-4. The Nationals were well on their way to improving to 65-55, pushing them 10 games above .500 for the first time since June 2018.
Eaton, who hit his eighth homer, and Rendon, who set a career high with his 26th, went deep back-to-back off Bauer (1-1), who got only one of the nine batters he faced in that inning out. In all, Bauer was charged with a career-high nine runs in 4 1/3 innings in his third appearance for the Reds since arriving from the Indians in a trade that sent Yasiel Puig to Cleveland.
Suzuki's 13th homer, a two-run shot off reliever Sal Romano, made it 11-1 in the fifth.
Romano then got two outs and stuck around for the sixth, but he failed to retire anyone there and ended up charged with a total of eight runs. So his ERA ballooned from 3.00 to 13.50.
Strasburg (15-5), meanwhile, bounced back from throwing a trio of wild pitches in the fourth, including one that allowed Cincinnati's first run to score, making it 1-all.
In all, Strasburg went 5 2/3 innings, giving up four runs, seven hits, three walks and those wild pitches. One out after Tucker Barnhart homered in the sixth, Nationals manager Dave Martinez went to the mound, but Strasburg apparently talked his skipper out of lifting him. Strasburg then walked the next batter, and Martinez returned to yank him.
Javy Guerra worked the final three innings in relief and was credited with a save, despite allowing homers to Aristides Aquino in the seventh and Freddy Galvis in the ninth.
Aquino is the first player since at least 1900 with nine homers in his first 14 career games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Reds: Manager David Bell said 2B Derek Dietrich (left shoulder) could need another week before he is activated and might go on a rehabilitation assignment before rejoining the Reds. Dietrich is eligible to return Thursday from the IL. ... Rookie OF Nick Senzel received a routine off day, his first time out of the lineup since July 29.
Nationals: RHP Max Scherzer (back muscle) says he is ready to come off the IL and pitch in the majors. He played catch at Nationals Park on Wednesday. Martinez did not rule out the possibility that Scherzer could pitch this weekend.
Reds: Return home for a four-game series against St. Louis. RHP Sonny Gray (7-6, 3.10 ERA) faces Cardinals RHP Michael Wacha (6-5, 5.54) Thursday.
Nationals: After an off day, open a three-game home series Friday against Milwaukee, with LHP Patrick Corbin (9-5, 3.41) facing RHP Adrian Houser (5-5, 4.00). Washington has not announced its starting pitchers for Saturday and Sunday; one of those could go to Scherzer.