WASHINGTON- Man, how great Alfredo Simon has been for the Cincinnati Reds this season? The “big pasta” as the players call him, threw a game for the second straight start in the road trip and two fourth-inning runs were good enough as the Reds defeated the Nationals, 2-1, on Wednesday at Nationals Park to two of three from them, and end the road trip at 3-3, through Philly and D.C.
Simon allowed one run on five hits over seven innings with six strikeouts and one walk. The right-hander, also had a double in three at-bats, has won five of his last six decisions.
Cincinnati had lost three of four games, but earned a series victory from Washington, which began with a 15-inning victory on Monday.
Brandon Phillips had two hits and an RBI while scoring the go-ahead run on Brayan Pena’s RBI single. Shortstop Zack Cozart was moved up to the two hole and had a great game, going 3 for 5.
The game was delayed by rain for 61 minutes during the top of the sixth inning.
Before the game, Cincinnati activated right fielder Jay Bruce from the disabled list and placed first baseman Joey Votto on the 15-day DL retroactive to May 16.
Nationals starter Tanner Roak pitched six innings, allowing two runs, and six hits. Both starters remained in the game following the delay.
Simon retired the first five batters he faced, after the delay. That included the side in the sixth on five pitches.
The “Reds killer” in this series, Denard Span, who homered to lead off the game for the Nats, was left stranded with two outs in the eighth as Jonathan Broxton got a strike out to end the inning. Closer Aroldis Chapman pitched the ninth for his third save of the season.
Trailing, 1-0, in the fourth, before the team came out to bat, manager Bryan Price gathered the team in the dugout and had a chat with them, which was the turning point in the game. Phillips’ RBI single plated Cozart, who opened the inning with a double. Three batters later, Pena’s run-scoring hit scored Phillips for a 2-1 lead.
The team will have a day-off tomorrow, and will return to the field at Great American BallPark Friday night for a three game Memorial weekend series against the St Louis Cardinals.
May 21, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Cincinnati Reds catcher Brayan Pena (29) drives in a run in the 4th inning putting the Reds up over the Washington Nationals 2-1 at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Jack Gruber-USA TODAY Sports