CINCINNATI (AP) – Ryan Zimmerman set the Nationals’ career home run record with a solo shot, and Bryce Harper connected again on Monday as Washington powered its way to a 6-1 victory for a four-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds.
Zimmerman’s 235th career homer moved him ahead of Vladimir Guerrero for most in Expos and Nationals history. Guerrero quickly tweeted congratulations, saying he doesn’t mind being second.
The NL East leaders emerged from the All-Star break with an emphatically successful series – 13 homers, including three by Harper, and 35 runs overall by the league’s top offense. It was the Nationals’ first four-game sweep of the Reds and left them 6-1 against Cincinnati this season.
Washington improved to a season-high 20 games over .500 (56-36) with its ninth victory in 11 games.
The Nationals’ roster got a little better during the series, too. Washington shored up its weak bullpen by getting relievers Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle from Oakland on Sunday. They’ll join the team in Los Angeles for the start of a series against the Angels on Tuesday.
Stephen Strasburg (10-3) recovered from his shortest start of the season by fanning 11 in seven innings and allowing four hits, including Eugenio Suarez’s homer. Strasburg left his last start – a 13-0 loss to Atlanta – after Nick Markakis’ liner deflected off his hip in the third inning.
Scott Feldman (7-7) lasted only one inning. He gave up a double, a single, Harper’s three-run homer and Zimmerman’s solo shot in his first 12 pitches. Feldman left after facing nine batters and giving up five runs on 33 pitches.
Harper’s homer extended his hitting streak to 12 games. Brian Goodwin’s solo shot made it 6-1 in the sixth.
Washington called up right-hander Jacob Turner from Triple-A to help their bullpen temporarily. Right-hander Koda Glover – sidelined since April by a hip injury – was moved to the 60-day DL.
Nationals: CF Michael Taylor hasn’t yet started baseball-related activities as he recovers from a strained right oblique. He went on the DL on July 7.
Reds: C Devin Mesoraco began a rehab assignment at Triple-A Louisville. He’ll play a few games and be re-evaluated. He’s been sidelined since July 5 with a strained left shoulder.
Nationals: They face the Angels for the first time since 2011. Washington is 6-7 in interleague play this season.
Reds: RHP Sal Romano (1-1) will be called up to make his third career start when the Reds face the Diamondbacks. He also started on April 16 against Milwaukee and July 6 at Colorado.
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