Parra’s HR ends Roark’s streak, Nationals beat Reds 5-2
CINCINNATI (AP) — Tanner Roark’s first career homer wasn’t enough to get the win against his former Nationals teammates. Instead, it went to the other half of the first Tanner-for-Tanner trade in major league history.
“A weird day,” Nationals starter Eric Fedde said.
Except for the outcome. Nothing surprising about the Nationals winning in Cincinnati.
Gerardo Parra hit a three-run homer that ended Roark’s streak of keeping the ball in the park and Matt Adams added a solo shot Saturday, leading the Nationals to a 5-2 victory — their ninth in 10 games at Great American Ball Park.
The Nationals faced Roark (4-4) for the first time since trading him to the Reds in the offseason for Tanner Rainey. Both pitchers came away with a career moment.
Roark drove in a run with a squeeze bunt and connected for his first career homer off Fedde, his first in 336 career plate appearances.
“I felt like my emotions were under control,” said Roark, who went six innings. “It’s definitely a tough loss. The bunt and the home run felt good. I would’ve rather have won the game.”
Two homers made the difference.
Parra’s homer in the second inning ended Roark’s string of 36 2/3 innings without allowing a homer, the second longest of his career. Adams also connected in the fourth inning, leaving him 6 for 12 career against Roark with three homers. Brian Dozier homered in the ninth.
Roark led the NL with 15 losses last season but has been part of the Reds’ successful overhaul of their rotation. He gave up six hits and fanned six in six innings.
Roark won 64 games for the Nationals from 2013-18 and was traded to Cincinnati in December for Rainey (1-1), who got into the game in the fifth. He acknowledged that he had extra motivation facing his former team, and he fanned three of the five batters he faced for his first major league win.
“For me getting the first win in here, it is special,” Rainey said.
Rainey fanned Yasiel Puig with a runner on third to end the fifth inning, and then struck out two more batters in the sixth.
“He’s going to be a good one, he really is,” manager Dave Martinez said. “He has that look when he comes out of the bullpen that I really like,”
Sean Doolittle retired the side in order in the ninth for this 11th save in 13 chances.
Washington’s Juan Soto went 0 for 4, ending his career-best hitting streak at 14 games. It was the longest hitting streak by a player under age 21 since Manny Machado also hit in 14 straight games in 2013.
The Nationals are 17-5 against the Reds since 2016.
The Reds hit into double plays in the first, third and fifth innings, helping Fedde escape trouble.
“That’s the best I could have hoped for,” said Fedde, who gave up six hits and three walks in four-plus innings. “That’s when the ground ball really comes into play. That saved me today.”
Washington’s Anthony Rendon has reached base in 18 consecutive games, going 22 for 64 with six doubles, two triples, four homers and 16 walks. Cincinnati’s Nick Senzel doubled, extending his streak to nine games, the longest by a Red this season.
Nationals: Reliever Trevor Rosenthal threw 29 pitches in the bullpen Saturday without problem and is expected to start a rehab assignment on Tuesday. He’s been sidelined by a viral infection since April 26.
Reds: Joey Votto was in the starting lineup for the second straight game after missing three with hamstring tightness. Votto returned Friday, had three hits during a 9-3 win, and left after five innings as a precaution.
Nationals: Max Scherzer (2-5) has no-decisions in his last two starts despite allowing one run and 11 hits in 12 innings.
Reds: Sonny Gray (2-4) has won his last two starts, allowing one run and 10 hits in 12 innings.