WASHINGTON – Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker and his players can agree on at least one thing: They are not scoring enough to win.
Losing for the fourth time in five games — the second in a row in extra innings — the Reds wasted a terrific outing by Bronson Arroyo and were beaten 2-1 by the Washington Nationals on Friday night when closer Sean Marshall gave up a bases-loaded single to Jayson Werth with one out in the bottom of the 13th.
The Reds have scored a grand total of nine runs in their last five games.
"The guys don't like it," Baker said.
"You either tuck your head and cry about what's happening or get tougher," he added. "Those are the choices you have."
Cincinnati finished with only five hits Friday, and the top two batters in the lineup — Drew Stubbs and Wilson Valdez — were a combined 0 for 12 with four strikeouts. The 4-5 hitters, Scott Rolen and Jay Bruce (who left in the 11th), were 0 for 10 with a walk.
The NL East-leading Nationals improved to 6-2, their best start to a season since moving from Montreal to Washington in 2005.
After Marshall (0-1) got the first batter of the 13th on a groundout, Danny Espinosa reached with a broken-bat infield single. Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche then walked. That brought up Werth, who delivered on a 1-2 pitch to end the game after 4 hours, 4 minutes.
Craig Stammen (2-0), Washington's sixth pitcher, earned the win by striking out three in the top of the 13th.
Stammen also got the win in extra innings Thursday, when he struck out the side in the 10th with only 10 pitches as Washington beat Cincinnati 3-2 on a game-ending wild pitch.
"He's a bulldog," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said.
Baker said he "messed up" his bullpen decisions, including using Aroldis Chapman even though the manager wanted the hard-throwing reliever to rest after going two innings Wednesday.
The Reds led 1-0 heading into the eighth, but Xavier Nady tied it with the fifth pinch-hit homer of his career, a solo shot off reliever Bill Bray.
Until then, Reds starter Bronson Arroyo was having an excellent night, allowing three hits over 7 1-3 scoreless innings, plus helping himself with a sacrifice fly that drove in a run to put Cincinnati ahead in the fifth.
But when the Nationals sent pinch-hitter Chad Tracy to bat with nobody on and one out in the eighth, Baker lifted Arroyo after 94 pitches and switched to the left-handed Bray. Johnson countered with Nady, who drove a 1-0 pitch just beyond the reach of leaping left fielder Ryan Ludwick.
As the ball bounced around the visitors' bullpen, Ludwick put his hands on his hips, shook his head and chomped on his gum.
Of the maneuvering, Baker said: "We anticipated the move. We knew they were going to hit Nady. We just didn't anticipate the outcome."
NOTES: Reds 2B Brandon Phillips, who missed the previous three games with a left hamstring injury, pinch hit in the 13th. ... Reds SS Zack Cozart was out of the starting lineup; he popped out trying to bunt as a pinch-hitter in the 12th, then stayed in to play the field. ... RHP Edwin Jackson starts for Washington on Saturday against RHP Homer Bailey of Cincinnati.