Harper, Votto hit, Nats beat Reds 6-2 to split doubleheader

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Brad Mills

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper was forced to leave soon after being hit by a pitch, then Cincinnati Reds star Joey Votto went wild when he got drilled Saturday night as Washington won 6-2 to split a doubleheader.

The Reds won a tame opener, 7-1. Things quickly turned testy in the nightcap.

Harper was hit in the right kneecap in the sixth by a pitch from Austin Brice. Harper initially struggled to put any weight on his leg, but ultimately made his way to first base.

But Harper labored defensively chasing after a double by Mason Williams in the seventh and was immediately replaced in right field by Adam Eaton — Harper said he’s not sure if he’ll be able to play Sunday.

In the eighth, Votto was hit for the second time in the game and gestured at pitch Ryan Madson as he took first base. After being retired on a forceout at second to end the inning, Votto waved at Washington’s dugout, prompting plate umpire Andy Fletcher to warn both teams.

Votto also was hit in the first inning. Washington’s Spencer Kieboom was plunked in the seventh.

Anthony Rendon had a pair of RBI doubles and Matt Adams homered in the second game for Washington.

Jose Peraza led off the game with a homer for Cincinnati and Eugenio Suarez hit his 26th home run.

The Nationals scored single runs in each of the opening five innings against Matt Harvey (5-7).

Jeremy Hellickson (5-2) pitched into the sixth. The Nationals have won four of five.

In the opener, Cincinnati starter Anthony DeSclafani (5-3) allowed one run in seven innings, stopping Washington’s three-game winning streak.

The Reds had six runs and 10 hits against Gio Gonzalez (6-8), who lasted only 3 2/3 innings. He has lost seven straight decisions.

Phillip Ervin hit a three-run homer and Brandon Dixon had a solo shot as the Reds snapped a three-game losing streak.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Reds: Brice was recalled from Triple-A Louisville to serve as the 26th man for the second game. He replaced Harvey in the fifth and allowed one run in two innings.

Nationals: Pitcher Stephen Strasburg, put on the 10-day DL retroactive to July 22, is eligible to return, but when he will remains unclear. “Every day, he’s progressing. There’s no real timeline right now,” manager Davey Martinez said. “Hopefully, he’s feeling good enough in the next week or so he can get off the mound, throw a bullpen. We’ll see. He’s definitely progressing in that direction.”

UP NEXT

Reds: RHP Luis Castillo (6-8, 4.98) allowed six earned runs over five innings in Cincinnati’s 13-7 home loss to Washington on March 31.

Nationals: RHP Tanner Roark (5-12, 4.37) is 2-0 in last two starts with 18 strikeouts and one earned run over 15 innings.