WASHINGTON – Major league losses leader Patrick Corbin ended Washington’s record 43-game drought without a starting pitcher earning a victory as the Nationals beat the Cincinnati Reds 3-2 Sunday.
Corbin (5-17) allowed one earned run and four hits in six innings while striking out five. A Washington starting pitcher had not earned a victory since Josiah Gray won at Philadelphia on July 6, shattering the previous big league record of 35 games set by the 1949 Washington Senators.
“Everyone knows that record here that was broken today, but it’s not something that I’m proud of,” Corbin said. “We’ve been pitching good as a staff and a lot of guys have been going out there and giving us a chance to win games.”
Stuart Fairchild homered for Cincinnati, which has dropped 13 of its last 17 but was trying for a weekend sweep.
Corbin has lowered his ERA from 7.02 to 6.56 in three starts since the Nationals skipped his turn in the rotation earlier this month. The left-hander had dropped seven consecutive decisions since defeating Pittsburgh on June 28.
“Since we gave him a little breather, he’s come back and pitched well,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said.
Corbin began the day with four more losses than any other pitcher.
Hunter Harvey worked around a leadoff single in the Reds seventh, Carl Edwards Jr. induced three consecutive flyouts in the eighth and Kyle Finnegan handled the ninth for his eighth save in 12 opportunities.
“To get Pat that win today and put an end to that (streak) was kind of awesome,” Finnegan said. “He pitched a heck of a game and he handed it off to the bullpen and we were able to do our job.”
Ildemaro Vargas led off the fifth with a liner against Nick Lodolo (3-5) to left for his third homer in nine games, breaking a 2-all tie. Lodolo yielded three runs and struck out five over seven innings, which tied the longest outing of the rookie’s career.
Lodolo is 2-3 with a 3.96 ERA in 10 starts since returning from the injured list July 5.
“He continues to pitch to really well,” Cincinnati manager David Bell said. “He really couldn’t be doing much better than he is right now.”
The Reds took an early lead on Kyle Farmer’s RBI grounder in the first and Fairchild’s solo homer in the second. Washington tied it in the fourth with Nelson Cruz’s bases-loaded walk and Riley Adams’ RBI single.
Cincinnati second baseman Jonathan India had two singles to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 11 games.
MENESES KEEPS HITTING
OF Joey Meneses singled in the fifth and has 28 hits in 22 games since debuting after Washington traded Josh Bell and Juan Soto earlier this month. The 30-year-old has the most hits for a Nationals rookie through 22 games, besting the 27 that Anthony Rendon had in 2013.
Reds: OF Nick Senzel (left hamstring tightness) was out of the lineup for the third consecutive day. Bell said the team would likely have to make a decision about placing Senzel on the injured list by Monday. … RHP Hunter Greene (shoulder) will begin a rehabilitation assignment Thursday. Bell said the team hopes Greene can return to the rotation Sept. 11 or 12.
Nationals: Gray is scheduled to return to the rotation during Washington’s series at the New York Mets next weekend. Gray has not pitched since Aug. 20 and has worked 123 1/3 innings this season and has never thrown more than 130 innings in a year since turning pro. “I think he understands where he’s at,” Martinez said. “For the most part, we’re trying to keep these guys healthy for the future and build them up.”
Reds: RHP Chase Anderson makes his Cincinnati debut Monday at home in the opener of a three-game series against St. Louis. Anderson hasn’t pitched in the majors since Aug. 4, 2021, when he was with Philadelphia.
Nationals: Washington is off Monday before continuing its homestand Tuesday against Oakland. RHP Erick Fedde (5-8, 4.88 ERA) will face the Athletics for the first time in his career.
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