Daniel Murphy crushes a two-run homer to deep right, giving the Nationals a 2-0 lead in the top of the 1st inning
"I felt like we kind of played a lot of baseball heading into the break," Murphy said. "If I'm not mistaken it was like 46 out of 49 [days]. We played a lot of baseball, and one of those was a rainout. So I think the guys appreciated the rest, and it seems like we're swinging the bats well right now. We've definitely got a lot of energy."
- Alert move: In a quirky moment to begin the bottom of the third inning, Bailey struck out on a Roark pitch that one-hopped into the dirt. As Lobaton threw the ball around the horn, Bailey alertly ran to first base and reached safely on what was ruled an error on the catcher. It paid off later in the inning when Bailey scored from third base on Adam Duvall's bases-loaded ground ball that Wilmer Difo botched for an error.
"It is [deflating]. It doesn't mean we're going to deflate, but you're darn right it is. It's certainly not anything anyone envisioned. Everyone goes, 'Hey it's Washington, they're top of their division.' It doesn't matter. We've played good clubs, and we've won games. These games, it's not that they've been non-competitive. Today was. There was a good effort but there wasn't a good result." -- Price, on the blowout losses to open the second half
Nationals: Stephen Strasburg will try to put his last start against the Reds behind him as he takes the mound for Monday's 12:35 p.m. ET series finale. The right-hander allowed five runs over five innings -- including four in the first -- against Cincinnati in an eventual no-decision on June 23.
Reds: Scott Feldman will get his first start of the second half and will need to play stopper so the Reds can salvage one game from the series. Feldman was a 6-2 winner over Washington on June 25 while allowing two earned runs over seven innings.
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Jeremy Vernon is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cincinnati and covered the Nationals on Sunday.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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