Cingrani shuts down Nats, Reds avert sweep

Tony Cingrani had 11 strikeouts over six shutout innings and the Cincinnati Reds avoided a four-game sweep by the Washington Nationals with a 5-2 win on Sunday.

Cingrani (2-0) allowed just two hits and a walk in his outing, with Aroldis Chapman recording his fifth save with a scoreless ninth.

"I just threw fastballs and some curve balls in there and I just got ahead of them," said Cingrani. "I bared down and got them out. That's what you got to do."

Brandon Phillips and Zack Cozart drove in two runs apiece for Cincinnati, while Joey Votto had one RBI in the victory.

Ross Detwiler (1-2) gave up four runs -- three earned -- on 11 hits and one walk in five innings for the Nationals, who had either swept or been swept in their first four series at home this season. They swept three-game sets against the Marlins and White Sox, but dropped all three games to the Braves and Cardinals.

"I didn't want to throw the ball right down the middle, but it's just one of those things I didn't have a good feel for anything today," said Detwiler. "You go back and figure out why everything went wrong. You learn a lot more from your failures than you do your successes."

Kurt Suzuki and Ian Desmond each had an RBI double in the setback.

Phillips put the Reds on the board with a two-run single in the first inning, bringing Cozart and Votto home. Votto tacked on another run in the second when he delivered a two-out, bases-loaded single that scored Cingrani, who had reached on an infield single.

Two innings later, Cozart knocked an infield single that plated Corky Miller for a 4-0 lead.

In the bottom of the inning, Cingrani recorded a rare four-strikeout frame. Leadoff hitter Denard Span fanned on a wild pitch, but was able to reach first. After allowing a double to Danny Espinosa, Cingrani struck out Bryce Harper but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. However, he struck out Desmond and Adam LaRoche to escape the inning without a run.

The Nationals finally scored in the seventh, after Suzuki doubled to deep left to bring in Desmond.

In the eighth, Cozart hit a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded to bring Miller home.

Desmond responded in the bottom of the inning with a two-out double, scoring Harper and cut the lead to 5-2.

Chapman came to close in the ninth for the Reds. He walked Anthony Rendon, but got the next three batters out to end the game.

Game Notes

Cingrani is the first Reds rookie to record 10 or more strikeouts since Johnny Cueto on July 22, 2008 against the Padres ... The Reds left 10 men on base ... Cincinnati's Shin-Soo Choo was 0-for-4 but drew a walk. He has now reached base safely in 24-of-25 games this season, including a 22-game streak to start the year.