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Doolittle, Nats hang on for 7-6 win over Reds

washington nationalsSean Doolittle survived another shaky ninth, as the Washington Nationals defeated the Cincinnati Reds, 7-6, on Monday.

Nats led 7-2 in the eighth, before an Aristides Aquino two-run homer, his eighth in 35 career MLB at-bats, made the game a save situation heading into the ninth.

Phillip Ervin connected on Doolittle’s first pitch of the ninth to make it 7-5, and a Joey Votto fly ball, with two outs, was misplayed by Gerardo Parra into an RBI double that narrowed the gap to 7-6.

After an intentional walk to Eugenio Suarez, Doolittle (26 saves, 3.73 ERA) induced a Josh VanMeter pop-out to end it.

It was the second shaky outing in his last three for Doolittle, who picked up the save on Sunday against the Mets in New York, in a 1-2-3 inning, after giving up four runs in the ninth in a 7-6 loss on Friday.

Erick Fedde (3-2. 4.09 ERA) notched the win for the Nats (63-55), giving up two runs on six hits in six innings, striking out four and walking two.

Matt Adams hit a two-run homer to key a three-run Nationals first, and Trea Turner added a three-run shot in the fourth that at the time lifted Washington to a 6-2 lead.

The Nats gain a half-game on idle Atlanta in the NL East race, and are now six back in the division, while maintain their lead atop the NL wild-card standings.

Story by Chris Graham