Casali homers off Corbin, Reds beat Nationals 9-3

CINCINNATI (AP) — Few teams handle Patrick Corbin’s slider with such aplomb. From the outset, Curt Casali and the Cincinnati Reds knew what they were doing.

Casali hit a three-run homer off Corbin, who had one of the worst starts of his career, and Cincinnati beat Washington 9-3 Friday night to end the Nationals‘ streak of eight straight wins at Great American Ball Park.

The Reds made quick work of one of the majors’ best pitchers.

Corbin (5-3) gave up eight runs — one shy of his career high — in 2 2/3 innings. The Reds piled up 11 hits, matching the most the left-hander had allowed in a game. He retired only eight of his 20 batters.

“It happened so quick,” said Corbin, who trailed 5-0 after only 21 pitches.

Corbin was coming off one of his best performances, a four-hitter for his second career shutout against the Marlins on Saturday. His feared slider was a little off from the outset, and the Reds piled up six singles and Casali’s homer in a 30-pitch first inning.

“That was a great first inning,” Reds manager David Bell said. “It was really a good offensive night for the entire team.”

Casali’s homer was his first this season off a regular pitcher. He also connected off Cubs catcher Victor Caratini during a 10-2 win at Wrigley Field on May 26. Casali added a single and an RBI double as the Reds piled up 15 hits.

“I’ve been waiting for a swing like that for a long time,” Casali said. “Getting that big early spot was nice.”

Corbin hadn’t allowed so many runs since he also gave up eight on Sept. 8, 2017, during a 10-6 loss to San Diego. It’s only the fifth time in his career that he has allowed eight or more runs.

“He threw some sliders they weren’t chasing,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “Their approach was really good. They didn’t try to do too much.”

Reds right-hander Tyler Mahle (2-5) gave up three runs in five innings, including Juan Soto’s 10th homer. Soto has hit safely in a career-high 14 straight games.

Cincinnati’s Joey Votto returned after missing three games with a tight right hamstring and had three hits . Eugenio Suarez was back in the lineup after getting hit on the left hand by Clay Holmes’ pitch on Wednesday.

DOMINATION

The Nationals are 16-5 against the Reds since 2016.

WORST OF TIMES

Corbin gave up a career-high nine runs during a 9-5 loss at Philadelphia on Aug. 25, 2013.

RARE, YOUNG COMPANY

Soto’s 14-game hitting streak is the longest by a player younger than 21 since Manny Machado also put together a 14-game hitting streak in 2013. Soto turns 21 in October. He had a single, double and homer on Friday.

MAY POWER

The Reds hit 45 homers in May, one shy of their club record for the month from 2007.

BREAKING OUT

The Reds were last in the NL in hitting with a .207 team batting average in early May. They’ve scored eight or more runs in four of their last six games.

REDS MOVES

The Reds claimed right-hander R.J. Alaniz off waivers from the Mariners and optioned him to Triple-A Louisville. Left-handed reliever Zach Duke was reinstated from the 10-day injured list after recovering from a strained right calf. Right-handed reliever Robert Stephenson went on the injured list with a strained neck.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Nationals: Reliever Trevor Rosenthal will throw in the bullpen on Saturday, take two days off and throw again. He has been sidelined by a viral infection since April 26.

Reds: Left-handed starter Alex Wood will resume throwing in the bullpen next week. He has been on the injured list since spring training with a back injury. … Infielder Alex Blandino will begin a rehab assignment at Louisville on Monday. He is recovering from reconstructive surgery on his right knee last July.

UP NEXT

Nationals: Erick Fedde (1-0) makes his third start of the season and the first of his career against the Reds.

Reds: Tanner Roark (4-3) makes his first start against the Nationals, who traded him to the Reds in December. Roark hasn’t allowed a homer in 35 1/3 innings since April 24, the second-longest such streak of his career.