CINCINNATI (AP) — The Cincinnati Reds had as many hits combined as Washington's leadoff hitter, the latest poor showing by an offense that hasn't done anything since the All-Star break.
Denard Span matched Cincinnati's hit total with his four singles, and Tanner Roark allowed only three singles over seven innings Friday night, leading the Washington Nationals to a 4-1 victory that extended their surge and the Reds' slump.
The Reds remain stalled since the All-Star break, dropping all seven games for their longest losing streak in five years. It's the first time they have lost their first seven games after the All-Star break since 1991, when they dropped eight in a row.
"We've got to put everything together as a team, like we did before, and I think we're going to be fine," said Alfred Simon (12-5), who has lost both his starts since his first All-Star selection.
The offense has been the biggest problem.
Heading into the All-Star break, the Reds won seven of nine at home, cutting their deficit in the NL Central from seven games to 1 1-2. Their worst road trip in five years wiped out most of their gains, but they had hoped to get their offense back in form at hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park.
During the seven-game losing streak, Cincinnati has batted .176 as a team while scoring a total of 13 runs.
"It's just really a mental game," manager Bryan Price said. "When we were going good before the break, nobody was pressing. Now, everybody's pressing. We can't get our offense going because we're not getting a lot of baserunners."
Span had four singles, stole a base and drove in a run off Simon. The Nationals piled up nine hits, two walks and three runs off Simon in only 4 1-3 innings.
"He had too many base runners — nine hits, two walks and he hit a batter," Price said. "That's 12. That's too many. I like to stay with my starters. I think they've earned the right to work out of trouble, but he wasn't getting better. You start to lose hope."
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