Another Washington National batter had a two home run game that executed the Reds..
Daniel Murphy hit a pair of home runs off Homer Bailey, accounting for five runs in the Nationals 14-4 win over the reeling Reds.
Washington manager Dusty Baker rested his All-Star secondbaseman for the first game after the break. “It’s been my experience that players on the All-Star team start out slow after the break,” Baker said. “They don’t get that mental break the other guys get.”
“These games are going to happen but not with this frequency. It’s deflating but it doesn’t mean we’ll deflate," Bryan Price said.
Harper started the second half quickly. He homered twice on Friday. Anthony Rendon, who had the resume to be an All-Star, hit two home runs Saturday.
It was Bailey, coming off two excellent starts, was a slow starter on Sunday. Wilmer Difo singled and Murphy lashed his 15th home run to the rightfield pavilion. Adam Lind opened the second inning with a double. Former Red Chris Heisey’s double scored Lind, who started for Zimmerman. Heisey scored on a bases loaded ground out later in the inning.
The Reds are used to falling in a hole and crawling out.
Bailey reached base on a weird play off Tanner Roark to start the third. Bailey struck out but catcher Jose Lobaton didn’t make a clean catch and Bailey reached first. Billy Hamilton singled, his fourth hit in two days. Jesse Winker walked. Joey Votto flew out to shallow right. Adam Duvall reached on Difo’s error as Bailey scored. Scooter Gennett’s ground out plated Hamilton.
Bailey was making his fifth start after coming back from surgery.
“We lost this game because I didn’t pitch well," Bailey said.. "No excuses, if I was hurt I shouldn’t be out there”
“I don’t want Homer coming back from injury to be a talking point. I feel and I’m sure the players do too. They want to be judged by performance," Price said.. "I still have his health in the back of my mind but we don’t want to use excuses.”
The Reds dealt themselves back into the game as Bailey settled in for two innings.
The Nationals ambushed Bailey in the fifth.
“I need to be more consistent," Bailey said. "I would throw a good pitch, then two bad ones. It’s simple. If you make a bad pitch it is going to get hit.”
Difo walked. Harper walked on a long at bat. Murphy followed with his second home run of the game, the fourth time in his career he’s hit two in a game. Rendon’s single sent Bailey to the clubhouse. Ariel Hernandez was greeted by Lind’s seventh home run, a fly ball that carried to the second row of the rightfield bleachers.
“They had 21 base runners.," Price said "Whoever Dusty is running out there does a good job. He has the All-Star players but Difo was on base four times. They’re a legitimate team. They did a lot of things right. We did a lot of things wrong.”
The Reds mounted a seven-run comeback Saturday and acted like they would rebound again. Winker in his first start other than DH, walked four the second time. He was on base in his first three at bats with a single and two walks. Winker has a .386 on-base-percentage in Louisville.
Duvall and Gennett singled to get the Reds third run home. Gennett singled home Hamilton in the seventh.
Rendon led off the seventh off Drew Storen with his 19th home run of the season and third in two games. Heisey reached base on his second hit of the day. Jose Lobaton hit his third home run.
Bryce Harper’s eighth inning double extended his hitting streak to 11 games. He walked twice and has reached base in 19 straight.