- Associated Press - Sunday, June 5, 2016

CINCINNATI — Two rain delays and a cramp in Stephen Strasburg’s calf contributed to the end of an amazing streak.

Strasburg gave up Joey Votto’s two-run home run and limped off the field a few pitches later because of a cramp in his right calf as the Cincinnati Reds rallied and overcame a pair of rain delays while beating the Washington Nationals, 6-3, on Saturday for their fourth straight win.

The Nationals had won Strasburg’s last 15 starts, which was the longest active streak in the major leagues. Now, the National League East leaders will have to see if Strasburg will have to miss some time.

“I just got real dehydrated out there,” said Strasburg, who threw 97 pitches on a muggy, 77-degree afternoon. “It just kind of grabbed me a little bit on a pitch to [Brandon] Phillips. I got some treatment on it and it feels fine.”

The Nationals have been at their worst when they’ve played the Reds in the last two seasons, with Cincinnati winning seven of their eight games.

Adam Duvall hit Shawn Kelley’s fourth pitch for a tiebreaking three-run home run following a 64-minute rain delay in the bottom of the eighth inning, extending Cincinnati’s best winning streak of the season.

“No alibis, no excuses,” manager Dusty Baker said. “He just hung a slider, and that’s what hot hitters do.”

Strasburg has won his last 12 decisions and was holding a 2-1 lead when a cloudburst caused a 21-minute delay to the start of the sixth inning. Strasburg walked Zack Cozart to start the bottom of the inning, gave up Votto’s home run, and grabbed his right calf on a pitch to Phillips.

Baker and a trainer visited him on the mound and let him face one more batter.

“You could see him grabbing it, rubbing it,” Baker said. “I’m just glad it’s not a calf strain or a pull.”

Jay Bruce also hit a home run off Strasburg, who fanned 10 batters and became the first Nationals pitcher to reach 1,000 career strikeouts.

“I felt good out there,” Strasburg said. “I’ve been kind of going through a stretch where I’ve been throwing a lot of pitches each inning.”

Anthony Rendon hit a two-run home run off Reds starter Dan Straily, who gave up only two hits in seven innings. Danny Espinosa tied it with a solo shot in the eighth off Ross Ohlendorf (4-4).

The Reds got runners on first and third with two outs against Felipe Rivero (0-2) when rain prompted the second delay. One hour and four minutes later, Duvall connected off Kelley for his team-high 16th home run.

Tony Cingrani retired the side in the ninth inning for his fifth save in nine chances.

The Reds have won five of six with their offense finally coming around. They’ve scored 46 runs with 18 home runs in those six games.

Strasburg was on pace to become the majors’ first 10-game winner until the delay knocked him out of his rhythm. He fanned five Reds batters in a row over one stretch and allowed only two hits before the delay.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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