CINCINNATI – Mat Latos let one bad inning get to him.
The Reds’ starter allowed no hits through the first four innings before Danny Espinosa led off the fifth with a clean single. Washington pitcher Doug Fister sacrificed Espinosa to second with one out and Latos walked Denard Span and hit Anthony Rendon to load the bases. Jayson Werth walked to drive in a run after falling behind 0-2 and LaRoche followed with a two-run single for a 3-0 lead.
Washington went on to win the game 4-2 on Sunday.
Latos and plate umpire Toby Basner exchanged words as the Reds left the field after the inning.
I started to pitch (poorly), Latos said. I let a couple of things get to me that shouldn’t have. The walk to Werth was what bothered me. There were some pitches that were close. (Basner) was inconsistent behind the dish. I gave too much credit to some of their hitters. I hung a curve on an 0-2 pitch to a .200 hitter. Then the whole inning went (badly). That’s what you get when you pitch (poorly).
It was a 1-2 pitch that frustrated Latos. Instead of an inning ending strike out Basner ruled that it missed the strike zone.
There were close pitches to Werth that were not strikes but were close, manager Bryan Price said. Baseball is a game in which you have to endure.
Fister took advantage of facing the slumping Cincinnati Reds to extend the best season-opening start by any Washington pitcher in a Nationals’ win Sunday.
Fister (10-2) gave up just three hits with one walk and five strikeouts in seven shutout innings to reach 10 wins in 14 starts, one less than any previous Washington pitcher.
Adam LaRoche drove in two runs and Anthony Rendon added an RBI single in the ninth to help send the Reds to their eighth loss in nine games since the All-Star break. They are hitting .178 (50-for-281) in that span.
Devin Mesoraco’s two-run double in the ninth off Rafael Soriano allowed the Reds to avoid their 11th shutout loss. Soriano regrouped to get the final three outs for his 200th career save.
The teams went the entire three-game series without hitting a home run, the first time in the 12-year history of Great American Ball Park that three consecutive games have been played without a home run.