The Reds using three rookie starters rode a six-run seventh to a 8-2 win, sweeping the NL East leading Washington Nationals.
Marlon Byrd, who entered the game on a double switch, beat out an infield hit to second. Billy Hamilton's bunt was dropped by Aaron Barrett, who started the inning in relief of Tanner Roark. Barrett was able to recover to force Byrd but left him with Hamilton as a baserunner. Hamilton stole base number 23, then raced home on Brandon Phillips single. Manager Mat Williams brought in left-hander Matt Grace to face Joey Votto, who walked. Todd Frazier's third hit of the day was a double that put runners at second and third in position to score on Jay Bruce's double. Zack Cozart was walked intentionally. Pinch hitter Brennan Boesch singled to deliver Bruce. Taylor Hill entered to put out the fire but the ninth man to bat, Tucker Barnhart singled to cap the scoring as Cozart trotted home. Byrd ended the onslaught by hitting into an inning ending double play.
"Probably the biggest play was their pitcher (Barrett) dropping that bunt and getting Marlon instead of Hamilton, then having to contend with Billy," Bryan Price said.
Votto took off for first after ball three it was confirmed by the Reds' Larry Herms.
Michael Lorenzen was stingy with base hits but misplacing the strike zone cost him his second Major League win.
"We talk about learning experiences," Price said.. "Lorenzen is learning to manage a 2-0 lead, when you know a home run won't beat you and challenging the hitters instead of making perfect pitches. He was just missing the plate. To their credit they laid off some tough pitches."
"I felt like I made good pitches but they were off the plate a little bit, maybe," Lorenzen said.
Frazier's 16th home run of the season off Roark put the Reds on top after three hitless innings. Phillips hit his fourth to extend the lead to 2-0.
"Hitting is contagious. It is the same with hitting with runners in scoring position. It is a mindset. Let the pitches come to you and attack," Frazier said "When you play a lot of games, everything will take care of itself."
"The meeting put a fire under us a little but we were all trying to find ourselves."
Bryce Harper had one hit in the series, a single off Aroldis Chapman on Friday.
Lorenzen was tough when he commanded the strike zone. He pitched around a pair of two-out walks in the first inning. Michael Taylor drew another two out walk in the second. Roark recorded the Nationals' first hit with a line drive double to the gap in right center. Hamilton cut the ball off and fired to Phillips in short right. Phillips wheeled and threw home to Barnhart, who applied the tag to Taylor for the third out.
Lorenzen retired 12 straight batters entering the seventh but walked Bryce Harper to start the seventh. He walked Ryan Zimmerman. Wilson Ramos hit a soft line drive straight to Phillips but Lorenzen walked Danny Espinosa, the sixth Lorenzen issued for the game. Manager Bryan Price brought in J.J. Hoover who has not allowed an earned run since April 21. Taylor singled to tie the game and cost Lorenzen the win but Hoover preserved the tie by getting pinch hitter Clint Robinson to line out to Votto, who turned in and unassisted double play.