Nationals burn Reds


CINCINNATI – Tony Armas Jr. pitched into the seventh inning and Jose Guillen hit two home runs to help the Washington Nationals beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-1.

Ryan Zimmerman, Alfonso Soriano and Matthew LeCroy added solo drives for Washington, which finished with a season-high five homers. Guillen had three RBIs.

Soriano’s ninth-inning drive off Brian Shackelford traveled an estimated 492 feet, making it the fourth longest ever hit at Great American Ball Park.

Armas (3-2) held the Reds to one hit until he loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh on a single, a walk and a hit batsman. Scott Hatteberg hit a sacrifice fly off Joey Eischen to cut the Washington lead to 6-1 but Gary Majewski relieved Eischen and retired Austin Kearns and Jason LaRue to end the threat.

Armas allowed one run and two hits in six-plus innings. He struck out four and walked one to shut down the NL Central-leading Reds, whose offense is one of the most potent in the league.

Reds starter Brandon Claussen (2-4) allowed 11 hits in 5 1-3 innings and struck out four in his second straight loss.

Royce Clayton led off the third with a double, went to third on Armas’ sacrifice bunt and scored on Marlon Byrd’s bloop single.

Zimmerman hit his fifth homer of the season in the fifth inning. Guillen led off the sixth with his fourth homer, and LeCroy hit a drive one out later to make it 4-0 Nationals.

Guillen added a two-run drive off Matt Belisle in the seventh.

Notes: Clayton was 3-of-4. … Cincinnati CF Ken Griffey Jr., on the 15-day DL since April 12 with a strained tendon in his right knee, was held out another day. … Washington SS Cristian Guzman had season-ending surgery on his right shoulder. … Wednesday’s starter for Cincinnati, RHP Aaron Harang, turned 28 on Tuesday. … Nationals C Brian Schneider, who left Saturday’s game with Pittsburgh with tightness in his left hamstring, was expected to return Wednesday.

AP-ES-05-09-06 2203EDT