for this game

Ballester, Nationals sweep Reds

Aug 4, 2008 - 12:03 AM By Rich Dubroff PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Series sweeps have been very hard to come by for the Washington Nationals this season.

On Sunday, Washington picked up its first three-game sweep at four-month-old Nationals Park with a 4-2 victory over the reeling Cincinnati Reds.

Rookie Collin Ballester tossed solid 5 1/3 innings to win his second career game.

Ballester (2-3), who allowed one run and five hits, earned his only previous win on July 1. On Sunday, he blanked the Reds until giving up a homer to Joey Votto, his 14th, in the sixth.

The righthander left with runners on first and second and one out in the sixth, but Steven Shell retired all five batters he faced. Charlie Manning pitched a scoreless eighth inning and Joel Hanrahan allowed a one-out home run to Corey Patterson in the ninth before recording his first professional save.

"I'm very happy with the way we played this series because we played clean baseball," Washington manager Manny Acta said.

Ballester got all the runs he needed in the first inning, when the Nationals scored four times with two outs.

"It's a good way to go on the road with a three-game sweep and we're going to give some teams some pressure from now on, and I think that we could rally up some wins here and there," Ballester said.

Washington, in its third game with Alberto Gonzalez at shortstop and Emilio Bonifacio at second base, has been a much livelier team.

"We wanted to see guys catching the ball and guys going all out and putting everything into it," Acta said. "Today, was a typical example. We start with the game with back-to-back strikeouts, and then we drop a '4' on them."

Lastings Milledge drilled a home run to left field -- his ninth of the season - and his second in two games. Austin Kearns and Kory Casto singled off Johnny Cueto (7-11). Pete Orr followed with another single to left, and the ball skipped away from left fielder Adam Dunn for a two-base error, allowing Kearns and Casto to score. Wil Nieves' single plated Orr.

"They're jumping us early," Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker said. "Baseball - you don't get to the game on time, you can miss the whole ballgame."

Hanrahan was tabbed as the Nationals' closer when they traded Jon Rauch on July 22 - and he's relishing his new role.

"I've been waiting on the opportunity for a couple of days," Hanrahan said. "I finished it up the way I wanted to - with a strikeout. That's how I envisioned it. I didn't picture the home run in there, but that's all right."

Cueto lost his third straight decision. He pitched six innings--allowing four runs - three earned - and seven hits. Cueto, who hasn't won since July 3, struck out four and walked one

The Reds, who are last in the National League Central, held a players-only meeting before the game, but it didn't work as they lost for the eighth time in nine games.

"It's very frustrating because we're making stupid mistakes," Reds left fielder Adam Dunn said. "We're beating ourselves. We're obviously not getting hits. They're making every single play in the field - and we're making none."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CINCINNATI 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 2 8 1
    WASHINGTON 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 x 4 9 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: CIN - JOHNNY CUETO, MIKE LINCOLN (7TH), DAVID WEATHERS (8TH) AND
    DAVID ROSS
    WAS - COLLIN BALESTER, STEVEN SHELL (6TH), CHARLIE
    MANNING (8TH), JOEL HANRAHAN (9TH) A

    Aug 3 4:02 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY COREY PATTERSON (7) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 9TH OFF JOEL HANRAHAN.
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 2, WASHINGTON 4
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: D ROSS (.234, 0-FOR-3)

    Reds 2, Nationals 4  Top 9, 0 OutsAug 3 3:59 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JOEY VOTTO (14) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 6TH OFF COLLIN BALESTER.
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 1, WASHINGTON 4
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: J BRUCE (.273, 1-FOR-2)

    Reds 1, Nationals 4  Top 6, 0 OutsAug 3 2:59 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY WIL NIEVES SCORED PETE ORR.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, W NIEVES ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 0
    WASHINGTON 4 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: A GONZALEZ (.571, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Reds 0, Nationals 4  Bot 1, 0 OutsAug 3 1:53 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY PETE ORR SCORED AUSTIN KEARNS. ERROR BY ADAM DUNN
    ALLOWED KORY CASTO TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, P ORR ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 0
    WASHINGTON 3 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: W NIEVES (.276, 1 HR, 10 RBI)

    Reds 0, Nationals 3  Bot 1, 0 OutsAug 3 1:52 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY LASTINGS MILLEDGE (9) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 1ST OFF JOHNNY CUETO.
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 0, WASHINGTON 1
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: A KEARNS (.220, 5 HR, 28 RBI)

    Reds 0, Nationals 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsAug 3 1:46 PM