WASHINGTON (AP) — Eugenio Suarez homered off Washington ace Max Scherzer in his first career start as a leadoff hitter, Tyler Mahle allowed three hits in 5 1/3 scoreless innings, and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Nationals 2-1 on Tuesday night.
Kyle Farmer also homered off Scherzer to go with Suarez’s 10th of the season as the Reds snapped a five-game slide at Washington and five-game skid overall against the Nationals in the clubs’ first meeting since 2019.
Suarez still struck out three times — running his season total to 65 — and is batting .150. Manager David Bell bumped him up in the lineup in hopes of changing those trends.
“It’s really just to help Geno, doing anything to mix it up a little bit,” Bell said before the game. “More than anything (it’s) just giving him a different look.”
Quipped Suarez afterward: “Nothing different. I got four at-bats. I thought I was going to get five.”
Tejay Antone worked 2 2/3 hitless innings or relief to follow Mahle (3-2).
Washington’s Josh Bell belted his sixth homer in the ninth off Amir Garrett, and Lucas Sims got the final out for his second save.
Scherzer (4-3) allowed two runs on five hits over seven innings in his first loss since late April. He struck out nine in his fifth straight outing allowing two runs or fewer.
Both starters walked one, but Mahle won the duel thanks to two swings.
Farmer drove the opening pitch of the third inning into the seats in left, a fastball that caught too much of the plate.
“I’ve got to be better in that situation,” Scherzer said. “I even had a feeling he was going to be swinging.”
In the sixth, Suarez took a 1-1 changeup over the scoreboard in right-center.
“He missed the changeup right in my strike zone,” Suarez said, “and I was ready to…
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