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Washington Nationals Rout Cincinnati Reds, 10-6
Washington pitcher J.D. Martin led off with a lob wedge shot to shallow center. Nyjer Morgan followed by drilling a single off the right field wall. Ronnie Belliard then shot a fastball over Laynce Nix's head in left. Ryan Zimmerman scorched a single on the ground between short and third. On and on it went, even when Cueto had chances to pause the drumbeat.
Cueto, with runners on second and third, could have gotten the second out of the inning if he'd fielded a Josh Willingham dribbler that died halfway to the mound.
Instead, the pitcher -- trying for a play at home, with Belliard breaking for the plate -- attempted to shovel the ball with his mitt to catcher Ryan Hanigan. The ball never got airborne, though -- it was simply rolling along like a lawn bowling shot -- and Cueto, with momentum carrying him toward the plate, accidentally kicked it past the catcher.
The wheels were coming off.
The Nationals, to their credit, made sure of it.
The most decisive hits of the game came from Alberto Gonzalez, the final batter Cueto faced. With the bases loaded and two outs, Gonzalez drilled a bases-clearing double down the third base line to make it 7-0. Next inning, Dukes had a similar bases-clearing two-out triple against Wells, and the rout was on.
"The run support was awesome," said Martin.
The lead eased the responsibilities for Martin (six innings, six hits, one unearned run), who earned his second big league win. Cincinnati tightened the game, albeit slightly, in the seventh, when reliever Logan Kensing was battered for four two-out runs, three of them coming on Drew Sutton's first career home run.