CINCINNATI (AP) – Nick Castellanos hit a solo home run with one out in the ninth inning and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Washington Nationals 7-6 on Saturday night.
The Reds remained six games behind St. Louis for the second NL wild-card spot. Cincinnati won back-to-back home games for the first time since sweeping Miami in a four-game series Aug. 19-22.
Facing Patrick Murphy (0-3) in his second inning of work, Castellanos lined an 0-1 pitch to straightaway center field, extending his career-high homer total to 31.
NL batting leader Juan Soto went 1 for 3 with two walks for Washington, leaving his average at .324.
Reds reliever Mychal Givens (4-3) escaped giving up a go-ahead homer in the ninth when Keibert Ruiz’s towering drive down the right field line landed in the seats just outside the foul pole.
Ruiz and Lane Thomas both hit solo homers for Washington. Thomas went deep to center field for his seventh home run of the season, all since joining the Nationals at the trade deadline from St. Louis for Jon Lester.
Ruiz’s drive sailed into the right field seats in the sixth, giving Washington a 6-5 lead with his second homer in two nights.
The Reds tied it in the seventh when Castellanos drew a leadoff walk and scored on Kyle Farmer’s double.
Reds rookie starter Vladimir Gutierrez threw 56 pitches and tied his season high with four walks while lasting a season-low 2 2-3 innings. The Nationals reached him for four runs and five hits.
Washington’s Erick Fedde gave up five runs on seven hits and three walks in 4 2-3 innings.
Nationals: An MRI on INF Carter Kieboom’s left forearm was negative and he was available off the bench. He was scratched from Friday’s original starting lineup after reporting soreness. He was hit by a pitch on Monday in Miami.
Reds: INF Joey Votto was scratched from the starting lineup with left knee soreness. Tyler Stephenson replaced Votto in the lineup. … LHP Wade Miley went on the 10-day injured list with a neck strain. LHP Cionel Pérez was recalled from Triple-A Louisville.
Nationals: LHP Josh Rogers (2-0) is 3-3 with a 5.47 ERA over 12 total appearances, including seven starts, in 2021.
Reds: RHP Tyler Mahle (12-6) is tied with LHP Wade Miley for the team lead in wins.