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Nats conclude three-game sweep of Reds in 17-7 win

washington nationalsThe Washington Nationals lit up Trevor Bauer and the Cincinnati Reds, scoring 10 runs in the fifth and adding six in the sixth on the way to a 17-7 win on Wednesday.

The victory completes a three-game sweep for the Nats (65-55), who have now won four straight and seven of their last nine to get to a season-high 10 games over .500.

Stephen Strasburg wasn’t at his best, allowing four runs on seven hits in five and two-thirds innings, but he notched his National League-leading 15th win, and it was his RBI single, on a 3-2 pitch, that broke a 1-1 fifth-inning tie and ignited the 10-run outburst that turned the game in a new direction.

Adam Eaton and Kurt Suzuki each hit three-run homers in the fifth, around an Anthony Rendon solo shot.

For the moment, Washington is five and a half back of Atlanta, which plays the New York Mets tonight, in the NL East.

The Nationals got big news earlier in the day, when ace Max Scherzer, who pitched in a simulated game on Tuesday, had another successful bullpen session on Wednesday, and could be in line for a return from the injured list to the starting rotation as early as Saturday.

The Nats have an off-day Thursday before starting a three-game series with NL wild-card contender Milwaukee (63-58) on Friday at Nats Park. Patrick Corbin (9-5, 3.41 ERA) gets the start for Washington against Brewers righty Adrian Houser (5-5, 4.00 ERA).

Story by Chris Graham