By HAL McCOY
For Dan Straily, the night was as frustrating as trying to open a new mayonnaise jar with wet hands.
For the Cincinnati Reds, it was salvation.
After blowing a hard night’s work by Straily, the Reds scored five runs in the top of the 10th inning and beat the Washington Nationals, 9-4, Saturday night in Nationals Park.
STRAILY WAS ON AN all-expenses paid cruise for seven innings. When the eighth inning began he had given up one hit and one run and owned a 4-1 lead.
But he walked Stephen Drew to open the eighth and Danny Espinosa hit a home run over the right field wall, cutting Straily’s margin to 4-3.
Manager Bryan Price opted to remove Straily even though he had given up only two hits, three walks and used only 97 pitches and still owned a one-run lead.
BLAKE WOOD REPLACED STRAILY and he gave up the tying run. He walked pinch-hitter Anthony Rendon on four pitches and Wood completely ignored Rendon and he stole second. Ben Revere bunted Rendon to third. Wood walked Jayson Werth on a full count and Bryce Harper singled to left to tie it, 4-4, wiping out Straily’s win.
The Reds, though, went to work in the 10th on left hander Sammy Solis, who pitched two perfect innings Friday, needing only 15 pitches, 13 for strikes, during Washington’s 3-2 win in 14 innings.
This time the Reds took Solis apart. Eugenio Suarez and Brandon Phillips led the 10th with back-to-back singles.
Billy Hamilton dropped a bunt and first baseman Ryan Zimmerman booted it for an error that filled the bases with no outs.
TUCKER BARNHART SLAPPED a run-scoring single to right field and a second run scored on the hit when right fielder Bryce Harper kicked the ball and the Reds led, 6-4.
Former Reds pitcher Matt Belisle replaced Solis with one out and Zack Cozart was walked intentionally to fill the bases. Belisle, though, uncorked a wild pitch for a run to make it 7-4 and Jose Peraza singled to make it 8-4. The ninth run scored on Jay Bruce’s ground ball.
The Reds scored three runs in the top of the first against Washington starter Joe Ross on a two-run double by Adam Duvall, playing first base for Joey Votto, who jammed his shoulder sliding head-first into second base Friday night. A single by Brandon Phillips made it 3-0.
The Reds added a fourth run for a 4-0 lead in the second on Tucker Barnhart’s single, Straily’s sacrifice bunt and a double by Zack Cozart, his second hit of the night after coming into the game 1 for 26.
AND THE REDS DIDN’T score again until the 10th.
Straily retired the first six Nationals before he walked Stephen Drew to open the third and the walk cost him. Ben Revere tripled to score Drew and the Reds lead was cut to 4-1.
Straily, though, retired 13 of the next 14 and the only Nationals base runner reached on a walk through the seventh inning.
Then he walked Stephen Drew to open the eighth and Danny Espinosa homered and Straily was gone.
But the 10th-inning eruption enabled the Reds to break a five-game losing streak and win for only the second time in 11 games. And the loss snapped Washington’s six-game winning streak.
Cozart finished with three hits and scored two runs. Barnhart had three hits, scored two and drove in one. Adam Duvall had two hits, drove in two and scored one. Brandon Phillips, dropped from fourth to sixth in the batting order, had two hits, scored a run and drove one in.
The Reds gathered 14 hits while the Nationals had only three.
After Wood gave up the tying run, Josh Smith pitched 1 1/3 hitless innings and Jumbo Diaz pitched a hitless ninth.