Tony Cingrani pitching against the Washington Nationals (USA TODAY Sports)
WASHINGTON (AP) - Tony Cingrani struck out a career-high 11 - including four in one inning - while pitching two-hit ball through the sixth, and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Washington Nationals 5-2 Sunday to avoid a four-game sweep.
Brandon Phillips had a two-run single as the Reds (14-12) improved to a major league-worst 2-9 on the road.
Cingrani (2-0) pitched three perfect innings before Denard Span reached base to lead off the fourth - on a strikeout and wild pitch. Danny Espinosa followed with a double, but Cingrani struck out three more hitters to escape the inning without allowing any runs.
In doing so, Cingrani joined Joe Nuxhall, Mario Soto, Tim Birtsas and Frankie Rodriguez as the only Reds with a four-strikeout inning.