Benson, Encarnacion-Strand hit back-to-back 9th-inning homers, lift Reds over Nationals 6-5

Sun, Mar 31, 2024
MLB News (AP)

Benson, Encarnacion-Strand hit back-to-back 9th-inning homers, lift Reds over Nationals 6-5

CINCINNATI (AP) - Will Benson and Christian Encarnacion-Strand hit back-to-back home runs with two outs in the ninth inning, lifting the Cincinnati Reds to a series-clinching 6-5 win over the Washington Nationals on Sunday.

Cincinnati trailed 5-3 when Jonathan India hit a two-out double off Kyle Finnegan (0-1). Benson drove a first-pitch splitter to straightaway center. Encarnacion-Strand swung over a low splitter, then drove an up splitter 387 feet into the left-field seats ffor his first hit in 13 at-bats this season as the Reds streamed out of their dugout to celebrate.

Lucas Sims (1-0) retired three straight batters in the ninth.

Trey Lipscomb hit his first major league homer in the seventh inning for the Nationals. CJ Abrams hit a solo homer in the third inning and added an eighth-inning sacrifice fly, and Lane Thomas had a two-run single in the fifth.

Nationals starter Jake Irvin allowed three runs and seven hits in five innings.

Nick Martinez, in his Reds debut, allowed three runs and six hits in five innings.

Jake Fraley had three hits for the Reds, who won on opening day and lost Saturday,

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LHP Nick Lodolo (left tibia) gave up a run and two hits in five innings of a rehab start at Triple-A Louisville. He struck out eight and walked three, throwing 49 of 77 pitches for strikes.


Nationals: LHP MacKenzie Gore gets the start against RHP Marco Gonzales as Washington opens a home series against the Pirates.

Reds: LHP Andrew Abbott gets the start for Cincinnati against Phillies LHP Cristopher Sanchez in the opener of a three-game set in Philadelphia.


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MITCH STACY Stacy is a veteran of both news and sports at The Associated Press. He covers the Reds, Bengals, Ohio State Buckeyes, Blue Jackets and more. twitter mailto "
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