WASHINGTON (AP) —Chien-Ming Wang won back-to-back starts for the first time in three years and Michael Morse and Ryan Zimmerman homered to lift the Washington Nationals to a 6-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night.
Wang (2-2) allowed four runs and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings, his longest outing since a stint of 7 1-3 innings on June 10, 2008, that began his previous consecutive wins run.
Morse homered into the right-field seats in the third inning for his 21st shot this season. He also hit a run-scoring double in the first. Zimmerman led off the fifth with his seventh home run.
Ian Desmond singled in two runs in Washington’s three-run first.
Cincinnati’s Mike Leake (10-8) allowed six runs — five earned — and five hits in six innings. His streak of five straight quality starts was snapped.
Wang, who has never had a hit in the major leagues, helped himself with the bat. After catcher Wilson Ramos doubled in the fourth inning, Wang made contact and moved him to third with a grounder to shortstop.
That drew spirited applause from the crowd and set Ramos up to score when first baseman Joey Votto bobbled a grounder hit by Rick Ankiel for an error. That gave the Nationals a 5-2 lead that held up.
Drew Storen pitched the ninth inning for his 32nd save in 36 chances.
Wang, who made his fourth start of the season, missed the previous two years after shoulder surgery. His back-to-back victories followed starts in which he allowed six runs in each.
In his third start, Wang allowed one hit in six innings against the Cubs on Aug. 9 while pitching on five days of rest. Wang had six days off before Tuesday’s outing because of a rainout on Sunday and a day off Monday.
The Reds took a 2-0 lead in the first inning, by right fielder Jayson Werth kept them from scoring more. Werth made a sliding catch of a ball hit by Brandon Phillips that sliced toward the right-field line. However, after Jay Bruce singled in a run, Werth couldn’t pull in a drive by Ramon Hernandez that fell in for a single and drove in the second run.
Notes: Reds SS Edgar Renteria left the game in the seventh inning after he strained his left groin while running the bases. He will be re-evaluated on Wednesday.