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STL@WSH: Detwiler gives up two in six strong frames

The Reds finally scored Saturday, snapping a 17-inning scoreless streak.

On Sunday, they'll try to get back into the win column, though they'll be facing Washington's most consistent starter through the season's first month.

The Reds, losers of three straight, face Nationals left-hander Ross Detwiler in Sunday's series finale at Nationals Park as Cincinnati looks to avoid a four-game sweep.

Although the Reds scored three times in Saturday's loss, the offense has been in a funk. Cincinnati has scored four runs in its last 29 innings and five runs in its last 36.

"What can you do? You can't guide the ball. And really, this hitting ain't that easy," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "It's been described as the toughest thing to do in sports. Good pitching beats good hitting, and then they ask what's wrong."

Cincinnati's current struggles also highlight the club's road woes. The Reds are 1-8 away from home -- compared to a 12-4 mark in Cincinnati -- but shortstop Zack Cozart said the Reds' losing streak has nothing to do with their surroundings.

"I don't think being on the road has anything to do with it," Cozart said. "We just haven't played well."

The Reds hope to turn it around against Detwiler, who has produced quality starts in all four of his outings, including his season debut against Cincinnati when he allowed one unearned run in six innings.

Detwiler has a 2.48 career ERA against the Reds, but is winless in five starts.

Reds: Rookie lefty 'not afraid'
Left-hander Tony Cingrani gets his third start in place of injured ace Johnny Cueto (lat strain) on Sunday, and the rookie has impressed the Reds in the way he attacks hitters. Cingrani, 23, has 17 strikeouts in 12 innings and has thrown his fastball 78 percent of the time, according to Fangraphs.com.

"He's not afraid, and he's not afraid to throw strikes [like] a lot of young guys," Baker said. "He doesn't really see the numbers. As a young player, you come up and see the numbers and the name on the back of the uniforms, because it was just two weeks ago, or last year, you were watching these guys on TV."

• Outfielder Chris Heisey left Saturday's game in the third inning with a strained right hamstring.

• Reds starters have a 2.59 ERA with 11 quality starts in their last 15 games.

Nationals: April power brings …
Washington has hit 27 home runs this month with three remaining April games. The Nationals are three homers shy of tying the franchise record for the most in April, set by the 2006 club.

• Left fielder Bryce Harper, already the holder of the franchise record for homers in April, added the April RBI title to his list Saturday. Harper has nine home runs and 18 RBIs.

• Shortstop Ian Desmond (13), second baseman Danny Espinosa (eight) and utility player Steve Lombardozzi (two) have combined for 23 extra-base hits, tops among middle-infield units.

Worth noting
• Reds right fielder Jay Bruce is 1-for-11 with four strikeouts against Detwiler.

• Nationals starters have allowed three runs or fewer in 11 of their last 12 games, during which they have a 3.17 ERA.

• Washington is 4-5 in an ongoing stretch of 17 games in 17 days.

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