Nationals lose 8-5 in 11 innings to Reds

The Nationals were in the field for the top of the 11th inning with the normally reliable Tyler Clippard on the mound, hoping he could keep the game tied and give them a shot at a four-game sweep over Cincinnati in the bottom half.

The right-hander couldn't get it done.

Clippard allowed a two-run double to Joey Votto and Washington lost to the Reds 8-5 on Sunday.

Scott Rolen followed Votto's double with a run-scoring single to center off Clippard, who was the sixth pitcher used by Washington manager Davey Johnson.

Johnson said afterward that he had wanted to avoid using Clippard, who has recently had discomfort in his shoulder. Johnson did say Clippard felt fine Sunday, and the right-hander agreed.

"I said I would only use him in an emergency — and that was an emergency," Johnson said.

Washington, which had a five-game win streak snapped, trailed 5-0 in the fourth but battled back to tie it and send a game to extra innings for the third time in the four-game series.

The Reds, who had scored just 10 runs in losing five of six, scored their most runs in a game this season.

Drew Stubbs, who had been 1 for 15 in the series, singled off Clippard (1-1) to open the 11th. After Wilson Valdez tried unsuccessfully to bunt, Zack Cozart singled — his third of the game — and Votto, who was walked intentionally his previous two at-bats, doubled to left on a 2-0 count.

Jose Arrendondo (1-0), the fourth Cincinnati pitcher, threw a scoreless 10th. Sean Marshall worked the 11th for his first save of the season.

Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman made two stellar defensive plays, but went 0 for 4. In the series, Zimmerman was just 2 for 17. He's batting just .179.

"Once he gets warmed up, this will all be academic," Johnson said.

Zimmerman isn't happy about his offense, but remains pleased with his defense.

"If I'm not getting any hits, I'm going to take people's hits away," Zimmerman said. "It's frustrating. Every time you hit the ball, day in and day out pretty hard, and have nothing to show for it — nobody wants that to happen. We're 7-3, and I haven't done much."

The Reds took a 4-0 lead in the first. Cozart singled with one out and after Votto was called out on strikes, Rolen bounced a ball to short. Ian Desmond's throw to first pulled Adam LaRoche off the bag, and Desmond was charged with an error — though television replays appeared to show Rolen was out.

Jay Bruce walked, and on a 2-2 pitch, Ryan Ludwick launched a grand slam to left-center off Ross Detwiler, his first of the season. Detwiler threw 38 pitches in the first.

In the Reds' first nine games, they were batting just .191, and hadn't scored more than two runs in an inning.

Cincinnati scored its fifth run in the fourth on Ryan Hanigan's RBI single.

Washington got its first hits off Reds starter Mike Leake in the fourth. Desmond and Danny Espinosa began the inning with singles. Zimmerman walked to load the bases, and LaRoche hit a two-run single. Bruce, in right field, bobbled the ball, and the runners moved up. Zimmerman scored on Mark DeRosa's infield out to make it 5-3.

With one out in the fifth, pinch-hitter Roger Bernadina walked and scored on Desmond's double and Cincinnati led 5-4.

The Nationals tied it in the seventh when Rick Ankiel led off with a double. With one out, manager Dusty Baker lifted Leake for Logan Ondrusek, who allowed a two-out RBI single to Desmond — his third of the game.

NOTES: Reds 2B Brandon Phillips started for the first time in six games. He'd been out with a left hamstring injury, but appeared to aggravate the injury when he doubled leading off the ninth. He was immediately replaced. ... Cincinnati 3B Miguel Cairo missed the game with a strained left hamstring. Baker said he'll be reevaluated on Tuesday. ... Washington RHP Craig Stammen pitched four innings in three games this series and struck out nine. ... Cincinnati is off on Monday and opens a three-game series in St. Louis on Tuesday. RHP Johnny Cueto (1-0, 2.25) is scheduled to pitch against RHP Kyle Lohse (2-0, 1.35). ... The Nationals open a four-game series with Houston on Monday. RHP Stephen Strasburg (1-0, 0.69) faces RHP Kyle Weiland (0-1, 7.20).