CINCINNATI (AP) — The Nationals trailed by four runs with one out in the seventh inning when Juan Soto hit a fastball from Reds reliever Alexis Diaz 419 feet into the right-field seats for a three-run homer.
Soto’s second homer of the day energized the Nationals, who scored seven runs in their final three at-bats to rally for a 10-8 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday.
Washington, like Cincinnati languishing in the basement of its division. tied the score in the eighth inning on an RBI double by Luis Garcia, then took over in the ninth on Maikel Franco’s two-out, run-scoring single and a single by Garcia that drove in two more off Reds reliever Hunter Strickland (0-2).
“(In the) dugout, I tell the guys to keep good energy,” said Soto, who had the 12th multi-homer game of his career. ”Whenever we do something like that, everybody gets motivated.”
Tanner Rainey, the last of six Nationals pitchers, came on in the ninth and gave up a homer to Brandon Drury and a single to Tommy Pham, but got Joey Votto to fly out to left and struck out Tyler Stephenson to end it.
“The boys battled back and the at-bats were getting better,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said. “These guys don’t quit.”
Kyle Finnegan (2-1) , who pitched a hitless eighth inning, got the win for Washington, and Rainey picked up his seventh save.
Reds starter Tyler Mahle worked six solid innings, allowing seven hits and three runs, all in the fourth, and struck out six. Strickland (0-2) took the loss for the Reds.
It was in that fourth inning that Soto crushed a 423-foot homer to center. The three-run shot in the seventh gave him a dozen for the season.
“I was just trying to make contact, to get a couple barrels and saw the ball flying,” he said. “For me, the work I’ve been doing the last couple…