The Washington Nationals and Cincinnati Reds will continue a three-game series when they clash at Nationals Park on Tuesday night.
Cincinnati was in prime position to make a move in the wild-card race as it trailed the Nationals by only 5.5 games entering Monday’s action, but it couldn’t get the offense going early enough to avoid falling for the 15th time in 18 games against Washington. Jesse Winker, Phillip Ervin, and National League Player of the Week Aristides Aquino each went deep for the Reds, who have belted 10 homers over their last three contests.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) August 13, 2019
Left-hander Alex Wood (1-0, 5.65 ERA) is taking the mound for Cincinnati on Tuesday. Making only his third start of the season after spending the first half recovering from a back issue, Wood was fortunate to escape with a no-decision last Thursday against the Cubs after surrendering five runs and eight hits over 3.0 innings. The 28-year-old native of North Carolina recorded his first win in his only road outing of the season six days earlier, limiting Atlanta to two runs in 6.2 innings.
Still hanging around
Even with several key core players either injured or otherwise unavailable, the Nationals are proving to be a resilient bunch–unwilling to give up the top wild-card spot in the National League easily. Washington seeks its sixth victory in eight contests on Tuesday when it continues its three-game home series against Cincinnati. Trea Turner belted a three-run homer to pad an early lead in the series opener and the Nationals ended up needing every last bit of their five-run advantage after seven innings as the bullpen struggled in Monday’s 7-6 victory. Washington increased its lead over St. Louis in the wild-card race to one game despite not having the services of Juan Soto, who sat out Monday after spraining his ankle a day earlier. Brian Dozier (illness) was limited to pinch-hitting duty while the team waits for the returns of Max Scherzer and Ryan Zimmerman from the injured list.
Joe Ross (2-3, 6.75 ERA) will oppose Wood on Tuesday. The right-hander has been brilliant in three starts this season, improving to 2-1 with a 1.62 ERA as a member of the rotation after allowing three hits and registering five strikeouts over 6.0 scoreless innings to get the win last Wednesday at San Francisco. Ross, who entered the season having started in 48 of his 51 career appearances, was obviously uncomfortable coming out of the bullpen in 2019 as he has gone 0-2 with an 11.17 ERA in 18 relief efforts.
The Cincinnati Reds are:
- 3-7 in their last 10 games against the National League East
- 6-20 in their last 26 games against Washington
- 1-4 in their last five road games against Washington
The Washington Nationals are:
- 5-2 in their last seven overall
- 23-7 in their last 30 games against teams with losing records
- 6-2 in their last eight home games against left-handed starters