WASHINGTON – Just when we thought the Cincinnati Reds have probably turned the corner, with a long extra inning victory last night in the series opener against the Washington Nationals, they lay an egg, especially on the defensive side as they didn’t help out ace Johnny Cueto.
The Reds committed four errors and Cueto struggled in the sixth inning, that blew the game open for the Nationals. He hit two batters, gave up four hits and exited early as the Nationals scored seven runs in the inning to defeat the Reds 9-4 on Tuesday night at Nationals Park.
Cueto entered the game having allowed only 10 runs all season, but he allowed eight in 5 1/3 innings. The right-hander gave up only six hits and two of the runs were unearned due to errors. Johnny’s ERA went up from 1.25 to 1.86.
The number fielding percentage defense was horrible tonight, they came into the game committing only 15 errors, they had three tonight, when Cueto was out there, which were proved costly in the game.
Denard Span singled to start the inning, stole second and went to third on Brayan Pena’s throwing error. Cueto then hit a batter, before giving up an RBI single that gave the Nationals a 3-1 lead.
Cueto then got a strikeout, but allowed an RBI single. Then, Cueto hit a batter to load the bases, then a two run single by Danny Espaniona made it 6-1 and ended the right hander’s night.
Sean Marshall came on and gave up three more runs.
The Reds got on the board first in the opening inning off Nationals starter Doug Fister. Skip Schumaker doubled with one out and scored two batters later when Todd Frazier singled to center.
Cincinnati’s defensive problems occurred in the third. Fister reached with one out when Frazier couldn’t handle his hard grounder at first for an error. Span then bunted down the third-base line, where Ramon Santiago fielded the ball but made a horrible throw that went down the right-field line. That let Fister score all the way from first and Span to go to third.
Then a sacrifice fly scored Span for a 2-1 lead.
Well, there’s always tomorrow I guess, both teams will close their three game series, with a late afternoon first pitch at 4:05pm, tomorrow afternoon. Alfredo Simon will go on the mound for Cincinnati, seeking a rare series’ road victory.