April 28, 2006

Game 22: Reds 5, Nationals 0

The Reds took the game and swept the series against the nationals on Wednesday by a score of 5-0.

Bronson Arroyo took the mound and was absolutely on, giving up only on hit and two walks through eight innings of work. He had eight strike outs.

Kent Mercker came on in the ninth to retire two batters but also walk two to set up David Weathers to strike out Jose Guillen, the final batter of the game.

Former Red Ramón Ortiz took the mound for the Nationals and looked awfully familiar. He was pretty strong for the first few innings, keeping the Reds off the board until the third. He gave up the first home run of the series to David Ross in the third inning to make the score 1-0. That would have been all the Reds would need.

In the fourth, Felipe Lopez and Adam Dunn each singled to set up Austin Kearns to ground into a fielder's choice. However, Ortiz committed a throwing error (also awfully familiar), and when the dust had settled Lopez had scored, Dunn was on third, and Kearns was safely on second.

After a walk by Scott Hatteberg, Edwin Encarnación singled to center to bring in Dunn and Kearns. Yet another error, this one a fielding error by centerfielder Ryan Church found Hatteberg and Encarnación on third and second. Two strike-outs, a walk, and a fly-out later, the threat was over but the damage was done. Score: 4-0.

The Reds tacked on one more in the seventh inning when Ortiz hit Ryan Freel with a pitch. I don't know where it hit him, but on the Gameday, the poor little drawing of the batter took it right in the eye. Two batters later, Dunn moved Freel to third, and then Kearns knocked him in on a fielder's choice ball. That was all the Reds would get, but way more than they'd need. Score: 5-0.

The win brings the Reds' record to 15-7 and their winning streak to four. Tonight they hose the Houston Astros in the first game of a three-game series at 7:10 p.m. The Reds currently trail the Astros by half a game in NLC standings. Brandon Claussen takes the mound for the Reds hoping to redeem himself after a rough previous outing. He faces noted bane-of-Reds'-existence Roy Oswalt for the Astros.

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