WASHINGTON (AP) — Alfredo Simon settled down after a rough start and came back after a 61-minute rain delay to win his sixth game, allowing one run over seven innings Thursday in the Cincinnati Reds’ 2-1 victory over the Washington Nationals.
Simon gave up a leadoff homer to Denard Span in the first, worked out of a jam in the second, then allowed only three more baserunners as the Reds finished a road trip by taking two of three from Washington.
Simon (6-2) threw two innings after the storm that interrupted the game for just over an hour. Jonathan Broxton handled the eighth, and Aroldis Chapman pitched a one-two-three ninth for his third save, hitting 103 mph on the stadium’s radar gun on a pitch while striking out Danny Espinosa.
Brandon Phillips and Brayan Pena had RBI singles in the fourth against Tanner Roark (3-2), who allowed six hits and two runs — one unearned — over six innings for the Nationals.
The win wrapped up a 3-3 road swing and gave the Reds a boost on the day that first baseman Joey Votto was placed on the 15-day disabled list. Votto has missed six games with a quadriceps strain in his left knee, but the club had kept him on the active roster in hopes that his return was imminent.
If nothing else, the game was notable because it contained overlapping replay and rain delays. Everyone was awaiting the ruling on a challenge by Reds manager Bryan Price on Todd Frazier’s steal attempt in the top of the sixth when the grounds crew came out with the tarp. The four-minute replay delay yielded no change: Frazier was out, as signaled by the four umpires huddled near the third base line in a downpour after players had scampered toward the dugouts.
The Reds were hitless through three before getting to Roark in the fourth. Zack Cozart led off with a double, Phillips singled him home, and third baseman Kevin Frandsen’s error on Devin Mesoraco’s grounder helped set up the single by Pena that scored Phillips.
NOTES: Cozart finished with three hits. … Votto’s move to the DL is retroactive to May 16. … The Reds also reinstated OF Jay Bruce from the 15-day DL. He had arthroscopic surgery May 5 to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. He did not play Wednesday … Reds OF Ryan Ludwick was given the day off because of some swelling just above his kneecap. Price said he expects Ludwick to return after Thursday’s off-day for the start of a homestand Friday. … Simon got his third career hit — and first double — when he put one high off the wall in right-center to lead off the fifth. … Blake Treinen starts for the Nationals on Thursday, when they begin a road series against the Pittsburgh Pirates.