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Reds score early, often, defeat Nationals 9-2

That’s 19 wins in the last 23 games for the good guys!

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

This team just keeps on rolling, don’t they? With a huge series against the Milwaukee Brewers coming up, and the rotation in the shape that it’s in at the moment, it wouldn’t have surprised anyone if the Cincinnati Reds had come out with a let-down series against the Washington Nationals. I mean, they have to come down at some point, right? Wrong. The Reds blasted the Nationals to the tune of a 9-2 victory to ensure a series win and a chance at a sweep tomorrow afternoon. It was the Reds’ 4th win in a row and their 19th victory in the last 23 games. This is fun, isn’t it?

Once again, this Reds team put together a team performance, as there was no single stand out, but a bunch of solid games by a bunch of solid players. Joey Votto, who has been slumping pretty hard in the last week, went 3 for 5 with a walk and a dinger. Elly De La Cruz followed up his 4 for 4 night by going 3 for 6 with a home run and 2 doubles. Jake Fraley had 2 hits and 2 walks, Tyler Stephenson hit a double and walked twice, and Will Benson had 2 hits, including a double, and drove in a pair. A lot of this came off of the Nationals lone All-Star representative, and former Reds’ farm hand, Josiah Gray.

A lot of credit goes to Graham Ashcraft, as well. For some one who very much did not have it at the start of the game, he rode a unicycle across the tightrope while balancing a whole china set on his head to limit damage and give the Reds 6 important innings, turning it over to the bullpen with the game well out of reach. In all, he allowed a run on 7 hits with 3 walks and 2 strikeouts. Not the prettiest outing, but it will get the job done.

Now, the Reds have a huge chance for a 4-game sweep tomorrow afternoon. Brandon Williamson (1-2, 5.56 ERA) takes the mound against Mackenzie Gore (4-7, 4.48 ERA). First pitch is set for 1:05 PM EDT. Go Reds.

Tony Graphanino

[Link to interactive WPA chart and box score, via FanGraphs]