National League Game Summary - Cincinnati at Washington
(Wednesday, May 21st)
Final Score: Cincinnati 2, Washington 1
Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - Alfredo Simon turned in seven outstanding innings in another victorious effort on the road, leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 2-1 win over the Washington Nationals in the rubber match of a three-game set.
Simon (6-2) permitted just one run on five hits and a walk to improve to 5-0 in five starts away from home this season, with the effort giving the Reds their first series win in Washington since June 4-6, 2010.
The Nationals' lone score came on a leadoff home run from Denard Span in the bottom of the first.
"Anytime you lead off the game with a home run, you usually think it's probably going to be a good day for the offense," said Span. "But you've got to give credit to Simon. He shut the door down, made good pitches."
Zack Cozart aided Simon's cause by going 3-for-5 with a run scored, while Brandon Phillips and Brayan Pena delivered RBI singles for Cincinnati.
Washington starter Tanner Roark (3-2) pitched well in a losing cause, allowing two runs -- one earned -- over six innings of work.
Simon served up Span's blast into the bullpen in right on his second pitch of the afternoon, but was nearly spotless after working out of a second-inning jam and departed with a lead thanks to a two-run Cincinnati fourth.
Cozart opened the inning with a double -- the Reds' first hit off Roark -- and raced home on Phillips' single up the middle to knot the score at 1-1. After a throwing error by Washington third baseman Kevin Frandsen on a force play kept Phillips on the basepaths, Pena drove him in with a go-ahead single to left.
Washington had a chance to pad their early advantage when two singles and a walk loaded the bases with one out in the second, but Simon got Roark to ground into a double play.
The Nationals generated few scoring chances the rest of the way, with Simon returning from a 61-minute rain delay in the top of the sixth to set down 6- of-7 hitters when play resumed.
"I'm happy with myself right now," Simon said. "I know the bullpen was [tired] right now. I just tried to go out and throw seven or eight innings."
Washington did threaten against Jonathan Broxton in the eighth. Span led off with a single that was successfully challenged by Nationals manager Matt Williams after being ruled a catch by Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton, then was on third with two outs following a sac bunt and a flyout.
Broxton fanned Wilson Ramos to end the inning, however, and Aroldis Chapman fanned two during a perfect ninth to close out the triumph.
Simon has allowed just four earned runs in 34 1/3 innings (1.05 ERA) on the road this season ... Reds outfielder Jay Bruce, who underwent knee surgery on May 5, was activated from the disabled list but did not play. Cincinnati placed first baseman Joey Votto, out for nearly a week with a quadriceps strain, on the DL in a corresponding move ... Span went 5-for-5 in Washington's 9-4 win on Tuesday ... The Nationals entered the contest 7-0 in Wednesday games and 10-3 when scoring in the opening inning this season.
05/21 23:38:15 ET