WASHINGTON (AP) - Chien-Ming Wang won back-to-back starts for
the first time in three years and Michael Morse and Ryan Zimmerman
homered to lift the Washington Nationals to a 6-4 victory over the
Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night.
Wang (2-2) allowed four runs and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings,
his longest outing since a stint of 7 1-3 innings on June 10, 2008,
that began his previous consecutive wins run.
Morse homered into the right-field seats in the third inning for
his 21st shot this season. He also hit a run-scoring double in the
first. Zimmerman led off the fifth with his seventh home run.
Ian Desmond singled in two runs in Washington's three-run first.
Cincinnati's Mike Leake (10-8) allowed six runs - five earned -
and five hits in six innings. His streak of five straight quality
starts was snapped.
Wang, who has never had a hit in the major leagues, helped
himself with the bat. After catcher Wilson Ramos doubled in the
fourth inning, Wang made contact and moved him to third with a
grounder to shortstop.
That drew spirited applause from the crowd and set Ramos up to
score when first baseman Joey Votto bobbled a grounder hit by Rick
Ankiel for an error. That gave the Nationals a 5-2 lead that held
Drew Storen pitched the ninth inning for his 32nd save in 36
Wang, who made his fourth start of the season, missed the
previous two years after shoulder surgery. His back-to-back
victories followed starts in which he allowed six runs in each.
In his third start, Wang allowed one hit in six innings against
the Cubs on Aug. 9 while pitching on five days of rest. Wang had
six days off before Tuesday's outing because of a rainout on Sunday
and a day off Monday.
The Reds took a 2-0 lead in the first inning, by right fielder
Jayson Werth kept them from scoring more. Werth made a sliding
catch of a ball hit by Brandon Phillips that sliced toward the
right-field line. However, after Jay Bruce singled in a run, Werth
couldn't pull in a drive by Ramon Hernandez that fell in for a
single and drove in the second run.