WASHINGTON -- The Cincinnati Reds ended their recent struggles while extending the downward slide of Washington lefty Gio Gonzalez.
Phillip Ervin hit a three-run homer, Brandon Dixon had a solo shot and the Reds snapped a three-game losing streak with a 7-1 win over the Nationals on Saturday in the first game of a day-night doubleheader.
Anthony DeSclafani (5-3) allowed one run and six hits in seven innings, stopping Washington's three-game winning streak.
Cincinnati had six runs and 10 hits against Gonzalez (6-8), who lasted only 3 2/3 innings. Gonzalez has lost seven straight decisions.
Gonzalez hasn't won since May 28 at Baltimore. During that stretch, his ERA ballooned from 2.10 to 4.04.
"If I knew the answer to that, it'd be a different outcome," Gonzalez said of his struggles. "Right now, I'm just trying to battle through whatever I'm going through. Hopefully start catching my breaks. Tide will change."
"Unfortunately, it's weird how it's working. When you fall behind on guys, you're not supposed to be lasting too long. When you get ahead of guys, you're not supposed to be out of the game too early. For me, it's hit or miss right now," he said.
Dixon added an RBI groundout and Ervin tacked on Cincinnati's final run with a sacrifice fly in the sixth. Jose Peraza had three hits for the Reds, who lost Thursday's series opener after dropping two games at Detroit.
"Anthony was really good. We swung the bats good. Good at-bats, didn't go out of the zone too much after pitches. We had (Gio) throw a lot of pitches," Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said. "A really clean ballgame. Kind of a complete turnaround from the games in Detroit."
The doubleheader was necessary because Friday's game was postponed due to rain. Cincinnati sent Matt Harvey (5-6, 5.13 ERA) to start the second game against Washington's Jeremy Hellickson (4-2, 3.59).
The first four batters Gonzalez faced reached base with three singles and a walk, but the Reds only managed one run in the first.
They were far more efficient in the second. With a runner on first and two outs, Peraza singled and Ervin hit his first homer of the season for a 4-0 lead.
The Reds added runs in each of the next two innings on Dixon's homer and a two-out RBI single from Eugenio Suarez, which chased Gonzalez.
"(The Reds) swung the bats right from the first inning," Nationals manager Davey Martinez said. "We fell behind early, just couldn't come back."
Bryce Harper, Juan Soto and Daniel Murphy each had two hits, but the Nationals rarely put pressure on DeSclafani, who matched his longest outing of the season. DeSclafani also had a hit and scored a run.
"I'm never going to complain when you go seven innings and one run," DeSclafani said. "I'm just glad the team got the win. It felt good to finally get through the seventh inning."
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