Bernadina, Espinosa help Nationals down RedsMay 12, 2012 - 5:35 AM Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - The Washington Nationals scored seven runs in the first four innings and held on for a 7-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds in opener of a three-game weekend set Friday.
Roger Bernadina hit a two-run homer and drove in three, Danny Espinosa launched another two-run shot and Adam LaRoche added two RBI as Washington won its second in a row on the heels of a three-game losing streak.
Gio Gonzalez (4-1) went five innings, allowing two runs on five hits and four walks while fanning a season-high nine batters, including six straight at one point.
Mike Leake (0-5) was touched for six runs on seven hits over just three frames. Jay Bruce had two hits, an RBI and a run scored in the losing effort.
"I'm just not getting the job done. I'm just missing spots, not getting spots. I've just got to figure it out," said Leake.
The Nationals put up runs in each of the first four innings.
After Ian Desmond began the game with a single, Bernadina battled Leake until the righty left his 10th pitch of the at-bat over the middle of the plate. Bernadina smashed it over the wall in right.
Ryan Zimmerman then walked and came around to score on Adam LaRoche's double to push Washington's lead to three before Cincinnati came to bat. It was Zimmerman's 500th career run scored.
Wilson Ramos singled to open the second, moved to second on Gonzalez's bunt and was plated on Bernadina's base hit.
An inning later, LaRoche worked a walk before Espinosa belted Leake's first offering into the right-field seats.
"I knew I hit it hard. I didn't really watch it, I just knew I got it good," Espinosa said.
LaRoche recorded another RBI hit in the fourth, plating Desmond.
The Reds finally got on the board in the home fourth on Bruce's sacrifice fly that brought home Joey Votto, and pulled within five runs an inning later on Zack Cozart's run-scoring single.
Both sides were quiet from that point until Cincinnati's half of the eighth, which began with two singles before Ryan Ludwick brought home Bruce with a single to left. Cozart struck out with the bases loaded, preventing a big inning.
Nationals reliever Sean Burnett got three straight outs after a leadoff bunt single in the ninth inning to preserve his 0.00 earned run average.
Zimmerman recorded three hits for the first time this season...Bryce Harper (0-for-5) was the only starting Nationals position player who did not get a hit...Gonzalez has not allowed a home run yet this season. He has pitched 19 innings against the Reds in has career and only allowed two earned runs...Burnett has pitched 8 2/3 scoreless innings this season.
- WASHINGTON: 7
May 11 10:23 PM
- Ryan Ludwick singled to left scored Jay Bruce. On the play, Scott Rolen advances to second. Runners on first and second with one out and Devin Mesoraco due up.
Nationals 7, Reds 3 Bot 8, 1 OutMay 11 9:54 PM
- Drew Stubbs grounded into a fielder's choice, second to short. On the play, Zack Cozart out at second. Runner on first with one out and Joey Votto due up.
Nationals 7, Reds 2 Bot 5, 1 OutMay 11 8:57 PM
- Jay Bruce sacrifice fly to center scored Joey Votto. Runner on first with one out and Scott Rolen due up.
Nationals 7, Reds 1 Bot 4, 1 OutMay 11 8:37 PM
- Bryce Harper struck out swinging. Runners on first and third with two outs and Danny Espinosa due up.
Nationals 7, Reds 0 Top 4, 2 OutsMay 11 8:27 PM
- Danny Espinosa one-out, two-run Home Run (2) to right scored Adam LaRoche. Rick Ankiel due up.
Nationals 6, Reds 0 Top 3, 1 OutMay 11 8:06 PM
- Roger Bernadina singled to left scored Wilson Ramos. Runner on first with two outs and Ryan Zimmerman due up.
Nationals 4, Reds 0 Top 2, 2 OutsMay 11 7:45 PM
- Adam LaRoche doubled to left center scored Ryan Zimmerman. Runner on second with none out and Bryce Harper due up.
Nationals 3, Reds 0 Top 1, 0 OutsMay 11 7:22 PM
- Ryan Zimmerman walked. Runner on first with none out and Adam LaRoche due up.
Nationals 2, Reds 0 Top 1, 0 OutsMay 11 7:20 PM
- WASHINGTON: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
May 11 7:10 PM
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