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Mar 31, 2024 2:18 am

Nationals rally with 3 in ninth to edge Reds

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Keibert Ruiz homered in the eighth and drove in the tying run in the ninth when he was hit by a pitch as the Washington Nationals rallied for three runs to beat the host Cincinnati Reds 7-6 on Saturday.

For the second time in as many games, Nick Martini was poised to play the role of hero, connecting for a pinch-hit, go-ahead two-run double in the eighth inning to put Cincinnati up 6-4.

Ruiz had tied the game 4-4 in the eighth with a solo homer off reliever Lucas Sims deep to the Nationals bullpen in right field.

Jonathan India opened the Reds’ half of the eighth with his second hit of the game, a single to right-center off reliever and winner Hunter Harvey (1-0). Pinch-runner Bubba Thompson stole second with none out. Henry appeared on the verge of getting out the jam with a pair of groundouts that didn’t advance the runner.

But after a walk to Jeimer Candelario, Martini drilled a two-run double to right to put Cincinnati up by two. Martini had collected two homers and five RBIs as a designated hitter in Thursday’s opener.

Staked to a two-run advantage in the ninth, Cincinnati closer Alexis Diaz (0-1) couldn’t hold the lead and retired just one batter. CJ Abrams worked a walk to open the inning and scored on Jesse Winker’s single to center. After loading the bases, Diaz grazed Ruiz’s shirt to force in the tying run.

Eddie Rosario’s sacrifice fly to left scored pinch-runner Nasim Nunez with the go-ahead run and a 7-6 Washington lead.

Kyle Finnegan pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his first save and close out Washington’s first win.

Candelario homered for the first time in a Cincinnati uniform while Luke Maile added a two-run shot for the Reds.

Ruiz went 3-for-4 for the Nationals with three RBIs while Abrams went 1-for-2, worked three walks and scored three times. Former Reds player Winker had two hits.

Washington starter Patrick Corbin was charged with four runs on seven hits, striking out two and walking one in 4 1/3 innings while allowing the home runs to Candelario and Maile.

Cincinnati starter Hunter Greene was charged with two runs on five hits over 4 2/3 innings, striking out seven and walking four while throwing 100 pitches.

–Field Level Media

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