- Associated Press - Sunday, July 3, 2016

WASHINGTON (AP) - Well, at least the Cincinnati Reds did not get no hit by Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals bullpen.

Strasburg was removed from a no-hit bid after 6 2/3 innings Sunday, and Ramon Cabrera singled against Matt Belisle leading off the eighth for Cincinnati’s first hit in the Nationals’ 12-1 rout of the Reds.

John Lamb (1-5) allowed eight runs, eight hits and four walks in 4 1/3 innings for Cincinnati, which has lost 10 of 12.

“It’s tough. It’s not fun, at all,” Reds right fielder Jay Bruce said.

Danny Espinosa homered twice for Washington, including his second grand slam in four games, and Wilson Ramos, Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon hit solo homers. Cincinnati has allowed an average of 8.4 runs in its last 10 losses and is last in the NL in ERA at 5.51.

Reds manager Bryan Price, a former pitching coach, is focusing on the basics.

“We have three pitching coaches here basically with about 90 years of coaching experience,” Price said. “The part we’re coming to terms with is that we’re really preaching a lot of the same stuff that you preach to your young pitchers at the early stages of player development. That’s command your fastball, be able to throw a changeup for a strike and be able to develop one breaking ball. We’re having to for some of the younger guys really just define the principles of pitching.”

Activated from the disabled list before the game after missing two starts due to an upper back strain, Strasburg (11-0) threw 109 pitches, five shy of his season high. He left to a standing ovation from the crowd of 37.328 at Nationals Park and was replaced by Blake Treinen, who got Billy Hamilton to ground out.

Making his first appearance since June 15, Strasburg struck out five walked four - including two of the Reds’ first three batters. He then retired eight in a row, needing only eight pitches in each of the second and third innings.

Strasburg has won a franchise-record 14 straight decisions and is the first NL starter to begin a season 11-0 since San Diego’s Andy Hawkins in 1985.

“I just told myself today not to have too high expectations as far as execution and just really make it a point not make it affect the next one,” Strasburg said.

Ramos homered in the second; his 13 homers lead catchers.

Espinosa homered after Lamb walked the bases loaded in the fourth. He hit a solo shot against Keyvius Sampson in the seventh, going deep back-to-back with Anthony Rendon for his team-leading 18th homer. Espinosa finished the week 11 for 26 (.423) with five homers and 16 RBIs in seven games.

Bryce Harper led off the fifth with his 17th homer. Stephen Drew hit a solo homer in the eighth, giving the Nationals a season-high six long balls in the game.

DUVALL SITS

Reds left fielder Adam Duvall was not in the starting lineup, his first scheduled day off since June 14.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Reds: 1B Joey Votto returned to the lineup after he was scratched Saturday with a sore right shoulder. . RHP Caleb Cotham (right shoulder inflammation) was scheduled to make his second rehab appearance with Double-A Pensacola on Sunday night. …RHP Jumbo Diaz is day-to-day after taking a liner off the outside of right ankle in the eighth.

UP NEXT

Reds: LHP Cody Reed (0-2) is to make his fourth career start and his second against the Cubs in the opener of a three-game series in Chicago against RHP Kyle Hendricks (6-6, 2.76). The rookie allowed seven runs in four innings in a 9-2 loss to the Cubs last Thursday.

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