Sonny Gray gave up only two hits over six scoreless innings as the Cincinnati Reds shut out the host Washington Nationals 3-0 in seven innings on Thursday night in the second game of a split doubleheader.
Gray (1-3) struck out five and walked one on 90 pitches as the Reds took two of three games from the Nationals, and split Thursday’s twin bill after losing 5-3 in the first game which was completed after being suspended the night before.
Gray had it rolling so well, he even knocked down a 116-mph line drive hit right back at him by Josh Bell in the sixth. Gray barely had time to reach but stuck his glove out and deadened the ball, picked it up and threw to first for the final out of the inning.
Lucas Sims worked a scoreless ninth to pick up his third save of the season with two coming in the series against Washington.
Stephen Strasburg (1-2) finished with five strikeouts and gave up five hits in five innings in his second start since returning from the injured list with right shoulder inflammation.
Eugenio Suarez led off the game with a solo homer off Strasburg that landed past the scoreboard in right center field. It was the fourth home run allowed by Strasburg this season.
Suarez was hitting 3-for-15 for his career against Strasburg before that home run.
From the second inning on, Strasburg retired nine consecutive Reds batters until Gray singled with one out in the fifth inning.
Strasburg struck out Alex Blandino, but then walked Suarez.
Jesse Winker hit a bouncer up the middle, which bounced high off second base and into center field allowing Gray to score.
Tyler Naquin followed with a double, which scored Suarez to give the Reds a 3-0 lead. Max Schrock also went 2 for 3 for Cincinnati. Trea Turner and Juan Soto had the two hits for the Nationals.
Nick Castellanos, who has a 13-game hitting streak, did not play in the second game.
–Field Level Media