CINCINNATI — Daniel Murphy and the Washington Nationals kept up their power surge.
Murphy hit two of Washington’s five home runs and had five RBIs to lead the Nationals to a 14-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday.
Adam Lind and Jose Lobaton added two-run shots and Anthony Rendon had a solo homer, his third home run in two games, to help the Nationals to their third win in the four-game series and fourth straight victory overall.
Murphy believes the offensive production reflects Washington’s balance and depth.
"I think that’s a testament to our offence," said the All-Star second baseman who has a seven-game hitting streak.
"We were grinding out at-bats. The offence didn’t give away a lot of pitches. We had a lot of traffic out there and saw a lot of pitches."
Earlier in the day, the Nationals bolstered their bullpen as they acquired relievers Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle from the Oakland Athletics for right-hander Blake Treinen and a pair of prospects.
Left-hander Jesus Luzardo and infielder Sheldon Neuse were sent to Oakland as part of the deal.
The Nationals have hit 10 home runs in the series against the Reds, the sixth time since moving from Montreal in 2005 that they’ve hit at least 10 home runs in a four-game series. Washington has outscored the Reds 29-11 in the first three games of the series, which ends on Monday afternoon.
"We hit some home runs," Washington manager Dusty Baker said. "This is a home run park."
The Reds have allowed at least 10 runs in consecutive games for the first time since last season, a 12-1 loss at Washington on July 3 and a 10-4 loss to the Cubs at Chicago on July 4.
"These games are going to happen but not with this frequency," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "It’s deflating, but it doesn’t mean we’ll deflate. They had 21 baserunners. Whoever Dusty is running out there does a good job. He has the All-Star players but (Wilmer) Difo was on base four times. They’re a legitimate team.
"They did a lot of things right. We did a lot of things wrong."
Tanner Roark (7-6) allowed three unearned runs in six innings. He walked three and struck out five.
"I felt focused and relaxed," said Roark, who was 0-4 in five starts since winning on June 4 at Oakland. "I could go out and pitch with confidence and go right at them and attack the hitters."
Homer Bailey (2-3) allowed eight runs and hits in four innings for his second poor start of the season against the Nationals.
Bailey, who started the season on the disabled list after surgery for bone spurs, made his season debut against Washington on June 24 and allowed six hits and eight runs in 1 2/3 innings. Bailey’s ERA in two starts against Washington is 25.40. It’s 4.60 against the other three teams he’s faced.
"We lost this game because I didn’t pitch well," Bailey said. "No excuses. If I was hurt, I shouldn’t be out there. I need to be more consistent. I would throw a good pitch, then two bad ones. It’s simple. If you make a bad pitch it is going to get hit."
Murphy’s 15th homer of the season and first since June 28 gave Washington a 2-0 lead in the first inning. The Nationals made it 4-0 in the second on back-to-back leadoff doubles by Lind and former Red Chris Heisey and Wilmer Difo’s bases-loaded groundout.
Murphy’s second homer of the game followed back-to-back fifth-inning leadoff walks to Difo and Bryce Harper. Rendon’s single knocked Bailey out of the game, and Lind hit his seventh homer of the season off reliever Ariel Hernandez.
Rendon led off the seventh with his 19th homer of the season.
Bailey started Cincinnati’s two-run third inning by reaching first base after alertly realizing that strike three had kicked up some dirt. He eventually scored from third on Difo’s one-out, bases-loaded error at shortstop. The play eventually was ruled an error on catcher Jose Lobaton.
NICK OF TIME
Bryce Harper waited until the eighth inning to extend his hitting streak to 11 games, keeping it alive with a double off the right-centre field wall. The All-Star right fielder has reached base in 19 consecutive games.
Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (9-3) has 36 strikeouts in 36 innings over seven starts against Cincinnati.
Reds: RHP Scott Feldman (7-6) limited the Nationals to seven hits and two runs in seven innings of a 6-2 Cincinnati win on June 25 at Washington.