CINCINNATI (AP) — National League batting leader Juan Soto homered in consecutive innings, and the Washington Nationals pushed the Cincinnati Reds further from playoff contention with a 3-2 win in the opener of a four-game series. Seeking his second straight NL batting title, Soto  raised his average to .325 with a three-hit night and is four points ahead of the Los Angeles’ Dodgers Trea Turner. Soto’s his former Nationals teammate had a three-hit game at Colorado. Soto, who turns 23 on Oct. 25, has 11 multihomer games, one behind Eddie Mathews for the most before a player’s 23rd birthday.

The Reds fell five and a half game behind the Saint Louis Cardinals for the second wild card spot with 9 games to play.