May 19: Reds (20-23) 4, Nationals (23-21) 3 – F/15
Long after both starting pitchers had exited the game, Todd Frazier belted a two-run home run in the 15th inning to finally come up with a big hit for the Cincinnati Reds against the Washington Nationals. The Reds came out on top 4-3.
It was all pitching in the early going as Mike Leake and Stephen Strasburg looked dominant on the mound.
Strasburg was the first to bend as the Reds got on the board first in the fourth. Frazier came in to score with heads up base running when catcher Wilson Ramos threw out Brayan Pena at second and he crossed the plate from third.
Cincy doubled its lead to 2-0 when Skip Schumaker singled home a run on a ground ball to center in the fifth.
Leake kept the Nationals bats at bay all the way until the seventh frame. With a 2-0 lead in hand, the Nats finally got a run across – an unearned one. Nate McLouth moved into scoring position when catcher Devin Mesoraco allowed a passed ball with Zach Walters at the plate. McLouth had singled to left field with one out. Denard Span capitalized on the opportunity as he singled home the runner on an 0-2 pitch. He sent a line drive to right and knocked Leake right out of the game.
The game stayed 2-1 in favor of the Reds until the ninth when the Nationals knotted things up against Reds’ closer Aroldis Chapman. Blowing his first save of the season, Chapman gave up a lead-off double to Danny Espinosa and an eventual sacrifice fly to Scott Hairston with one out.
The contest remained tied until Frazier’s heroics in the 15th. In top portion of the inning, with Brandon Phillips standing on first, Frazier connected on a 2-1 offering from Ross Detwiler for the 4-2 advantage. It marked his eighth dinger of the season.
In the bottom half of the inning, the Nationals got one run across the board on a two-out RBI single from Gregg Dobbs. Espinosa then lined out with the potential tying run stranded at first to end the nearly four-hour and 58-minute game.
Leake finished the game with 6.2 innings and zero earned runs to his line. He struck out four and got the no decision. In a similar boat, Strasburg went seven strong innings, surrendering the two earned runs and fanning four in his no decision.
Important things to note: Each team used six relief pitchers in the 15-inning affair … Both squads piled up 13 hits apiece and totaled 110 combined at-bats in the game.