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(Tuesday, May 20th)
Final Score: Washington 9, Cincinnati 4
Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - Denard Span went 5-for-5, including a pair of doubles, with two RBI and two runs scored to help guide the Washington Nationals to a 9-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in the middle test of a three-game set at Nationals Park.
Danny Espinosa drove in two runs and Jayson Werth added an RBI for Washington, which has won four of its last six contests.
"It sets up everything when you have your leadoff guy getting on base," Werth said about Span. "When he's going good, he doesn't give an at-bat away. That sets up the rest of your lineup and makes it tough on the other team."
After a rough first start since coming off the disabled list, Doug Fister (1-1) has been more than impressive in his last two. He spun a solid seven innings on Tuesday, allowing just two runs on six hits and a walk while fanning five in his home debut.
In his worst outing of the season, Johnny Cueto (4-3) was tagged for eight runs -- six earned -- on six hits with six strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings to absorb his first loss since April 11 against Tampa Bay.
Billy Hamilton had two RBI and Todd Frazier drove in one for the Reds, who have lost three of their last four games.
"We had our chances but we didn't get as many as we needed," said Hamilton. "Fister got in his groove and he had everything working tonight. He did a great job of mixing his pitches up."
The Nationals were down 1-0 after one inning, but took advantage of a couple Reds' errors in the third.
Frazier couldn't snag Fister's tough one-hop liner to first which allowed him to reach with one out. Span then dropped a bunt single to third baseman Ramon Santiago, who threw the ball down the right-field line to allow Fister to come around to score from first before Anthony Rendon's sac fly made it 2-1 Nats.
Span singled to start the home half of the sixth, then stole second and advanced to third when catcher Brayan Pena's throw went into center field. After Rendon was hit by a Cueto pitch, Werth singled to opposite field to score Span and Tyler Moore's one-out single to right brought home Rendon.
The next batter, Kevin Frandsen, was hit by a pitch and Espinosa made it 6-1 with a single that chased Cueto from the game. Jose Lobaton dropped a Sean Marshall fastball into right-center field for a single to add another run.
Span, batting for the second time in the inning, later cleared the bases with a double to cap off a seven-run inning, which gave the Nationals a 9-1 advantage.
Cincinnati scored one in the seventh on a Hamilton sac fly and two more in the ninth. Roger Bernadina's RBI groundout was followed by a Hamilton single for the final margin.
Frazier opened up the scoring with a two-out single up the middle in the first that plated Skip Schumaker, who doubled to left with one out.
Span's five hits matched a career high and a Nationals single-game record ... Former NL MVP Joey Votto missed his fifth straight game for the Reds because of a left quad strain ... Cincinnati went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position, while Washington finished 5-for-11 ... The Nationals have won seven of their last 10 at home versus the Reds ... Cueto has struck out 82 batters over 77 1/3 innings ... The Nationals are 20-1 when scoring four or more runs this season.
05/21 00:37:59 ET