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Depleted Nationals lose to Reds 8-5, ending series win streak

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Depleted Nationals lose to Reds 8-5, ending series win streak

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Joey Votto hit a two-run homer -- his second in two days -- and Zack Cozart doubled with the bases loaded in the eighth inning on Saturday, rallying the Cincinnati Reds to an 8-5 victory over the Washington Nationals.

Cozart's double highlighted a four-run inning off Casey Janssen (0-1). Billy Hamilton followed with a two-run single.

The Reds have won consecutive games for the first time in more than two weeks, ending Washington's club-record streak of winning nine consecutive series. The NL East leaders have lost consecutive games for the first time since April 26-27.

J.J. Hoover (3-0) retired all three batters on grounders in the eighth. Aroldis Chapman walked two while getting his ninth save in as many chances.

The Nationals were missing outfielder Bryce Harper, scratched from the lineup because of a sore back. He was hit in the middle of the back by Tony Cingrani's pitch on Friday night during Cincinnati's 5-2 win and had words with the pitcher.

The Nationals yelled from their dugout on Saturday after left-hander Gio Gonzalez got hit twice, including on the left elbow in the sixth inning after Michael Taylor hit a three-run homer. Reds third baseman Todd Frazier yelled back.

Taylor was in a 1-for-24 slump with 13 strikeouts when he connected off Raisel Iglesias for a 5-2 lead. Ryan Zimmerman and Denard Span had RBI singles off Iglesias, who hasn't won either of his starts while filling in for the injured Johnny Cueto.

Frazier had a single and two doubles. His first extra-base hit helped the Reds cut it to 5-4 in the sixth. His one-out double started the go-ahead rally in the eighth, when Cincinnati sent nine batters to the plate.

In addition to Harper, the Nationals were missing outfielder Jayson Werth, out indefinitely with a broken wrist that was hit by a pitch earlier in the month.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg, who left Friday night's start after 16 pitches because of a stiff neck, went on the 15-day DL and was sent back to Washington for an exam.

Reds: 2B Brandon Phillips was back in the lineup after being limited to pinch hitting the last three games because of a sore toe on his left foot. He went 0 for 5.

UP NEXT

Nationals: Tanner Roark (1-2) makes his second consecutive start after opening the season with 13 relief appearances. He gave up three hits and a run in five innings of a 2-1 win over the Cubs on Monday.

Reds: Michael Lorenzen (1-2) makes his fifth career start, facing the Nationals for the first time.

MORE NATIONALS: Nationals' chaotic day gets even wilder at Great American Ballpark

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Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

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USA TODAY Sports Images

Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

WASHINGTON -- Juan Soto, the youngest player in the majors at 19, hit a three-run homer in his first career start as the Washington Nationals defeated the San Diego Padres 10-2 on Monday.

Mark Reynolds had two solo home runs for the Nationals, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Bryce Harper had a homer and an RBI double.

Soto's drive highlighted a five-run second inning for Washington. The promising outfielder, who played for three minor league teams this season, hit the first pitch from Robbie Erlin (1-3) over the Nationals bullpen in left-center field. Soto also singled.

Soto's homer traveled an estimated 442 feet at Nationals Park. He earned a standing ovation from the crowd and the teenager responded by taking a curtain call. Per Baseball-Reference.com, Soto became the first teenager to hit a home run in a major league game since Harper on Sept. 30, 2012.

Called up to Washington on Sunday, Soto became the first 19-year-old to make his major league debut since Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias in 2016. He entered that game in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter and struck out.

Washington's starting left fielder began the season at Class A Hagerstown. He hit a combined .362 with 14 homers and 52 RBIs in his three minor league stops.

Gio Gonzalez (5-2) allowed two runs and two hits in seven innings.

San Diego's Franmil Reyes, playing in his seventh career game, also hit his first career home run.

Trea Turner hit a pair of RBI doubles for Washington. Reynolds had three hits.

Erlin surrendered six runs and seven hits over four innings in his third start of the season. San Diego had won three in a row.

Reyes connected for a two-run homer in the fourth inning, but the Padres' lineup generated little else against Gonzalez, who allowed one run over six innings in a no-decision at San Diego on May 9.

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.

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Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

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@MLB

Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

Juan Soto, the highly-regarded 19-year-old Nationals' prospect, got his first major league start of his career tonight. 

How did it go, you ask? Surely it would take Soto - who was in Single-A less than two weeks ago - some time to adjust? 

What were you doing at 19??

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.