Reds hope to get bats going against Nats

8:37 AM, Apr 27, 2013   |    comments
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(Sports Network) - Veteran righty Dan Haren can make it three straight mound gems for the Washington Nationals on Saturday when they host the Cincinnati Reds in the third of four weekend games at Nationals Park.

The Nationals have won the initial two games of the series while holding the Reds to one hit in each game and a combined one run.

Jordan Zimmermann tossed his first career shutout and second complete game of the season in Friday's 1-0 victory. Zimmermann (4-1) walked one and had four strikeouts for Washington, which has won two straight after snapping a four- game losing streak with a win on Thursday.

Zimmermann, who threw just 91 pitches, didn't allow the visitors to put a runner in scoring position. The righty tossed 60 pitches through the first six innings and retired 12 of the first 13 batters he faced.

"I love getting hits, don't get me wrong," Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki said, "but this is the type of thing I take pride in."

Jayson Werth collected two hits and drove in the game's lone run, while Bryce Harper added a triple and scored on Werth's single.

"It was just a phenomenal game," Washington manager Davey Johnson said. "It was really fun for me to watch. He was going to keep going unless he couldn't walk out there."

It's the first time since 1900 that the Reds have been held to just one hit in back-to-back games.

Reds starter Homer Bailey (1-2) tossed seven solid innings and allowed one run and struck out six. Xavier Paul had Cincinnati's only hit, a single up the middle in the third.

Haren, a veteran of 300 career big-league appearances and 120 wins, was on the short end of a 15-0 verdict against the Reds on April 5 in Cincinnati, where he was touched for nine hits and six runs in four innings.

He's 2-3 in seven career meetings with the Reds.

Haren is 1-2 in three starts since the Reds loss while allowing 23 hits and 13 runs in 14 1/3 innings.

He defeated the Chicago White Sox on April 11, then lost to Miami and St. Louis on April 16 and 22.

The Reds start righty Mike Leake, who is 3-2 in seven career meetings with the Nationals, including a start on April 6.

In that game, a day after Haren's one-sided loss, Leake allowed four runs on six hits in six innings while getting a no-decision in Cincinnati's 7-6 loss.

In three starts since, Leake is 1-0 with two more no-decisions while allowing 21 hits and seven runs in 20 innings.

He's 10-10 in 39 career road appearances and 1-1 in three games at Nationals Park.

The Reds won two of three from the Nationals in a season-opening series at Cincinnati earlier this month. Washington won five of seven games with the Reds in 2012.

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