Final

Series: Game 1 of 3

Washington leads 1-0 (as of 7/31)

Game 1: Tuesday, July 31
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Game 2: Wednesday, August 1
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Game 3: Thursday, August 2
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Reds 3

(45-62, 21-33 away)

Nationals 6

(46-60, 25-29 home)

    7:05 PM ET, July 31, 2007

    RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C. 

    123456789 R H E
    CIN 000021000 3 12 1
    WAS 00005010 - 6 12 0

    W: M. Chico (5-6)

    L: B. Livingston (2-2)

    S: C. Cordero (22)

    Zimmerman's 3-run double leads Nats past Reds

    A CLOSER LOOK

    Ryan Zimmerman
    Zimmerman

    • Summary: Ryan Zimmerman laced a three-run double as Washington scored five runs in the fifth inning in a victory over Cincinnati.

    • Turning point: The Nationals sent 10 batters to the plate during the fifth, chasing Reds starter Bobby Livingston, who left after facing five and retiring none.

    • Funky slump: Adam Dunn's fifth-inning double off the wall in right-center was the Reds slugger's first hit since Thursday and his only hit of the game. He's mired in a 2-for-20 slump.

    • Quotable: "I couldn't do anything about it anyway, so I'm not going to sit and worry about something I have no control over. I'm not going to let it ruin my day and make me lose sleep." -- Dunn, on being the subject of trade speculation

    -- ESPN.com news services

    Nationals 6, Reds 3
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- The message written in orange on the grease board outside the Washington Nationals' clubhouse reminded everyone about Wednesday's team photo.

    It turns out everyone is still in the picture.

    Tuesday's non-waiver trade deadline came and went without any moves by rebuilding Washington, a franchise headed for a fourth consecutive last-place finish. Then the Nationals went out and beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-3 with the help of Ryan Zimmerman's three-run double and second baseman Ronnie Belliard's highlight-ready assist.

    Washington entered the day at 45-60 and Cincinnati at 45-61 -- only Pittsburgh (42-61) was worse in the NL -- but neither club made any deals Tuesday.

    "I knew for sure that I wasn't going to get traded," Nationals manager Manny Acta said with a smile. "I wasn't worried. The sense of relief was probably for the guys that were mentioned."

    In his clubhouse, that would be relievers Jon Rauch and Chad Cordero, along with outfielder Ryan Church. Down the hallway, where the Reds were situated, there was Adam Dunn, another subject of trade speculation.

    "I didn't care," said Cincinnati's outfielder, 1-for-16 over the past four games. "I couldn't do anything about it anyway, so I'm not going to sit and worry about something I have no control over. I'm not going to let it ruin my day and make me lose sleep."

    Before the game, Cordero spoke about being pleased to stay with the only club he's played for in the majors. Then he went out and recorded a 1-2-3 ninth inning, including a strikeout of Dunn, for his 22nd save.

    Rookie Matt Chico (5-6) earned the victory by going five innings. He gave up two runs despite allowing nine hits and three walks.

    Cincinnati kept putting runners on base -- and then kept leaving them there. The Reds got at least one runner to second base in every inning through the first four, but failed to score.

    The Nationals had chances, too, stranding a runner at third in each of the first two innings. In the second, Brian Schneider was held at third base on Nook Logan's double with two outs and Chico coming up. The pitcher grounded out, drawing some boos.

    In the fifth, the Reds finally put something together.

    "You can only get out of so many," Chico said.

    It began with Dunn's double off the wall in right-center. That was followed by three more hits, including Jeff Conine's RBI double and Edwin Encarnacion's RBI single, and the Reds led 2-0.

    But that didn't last long, because Washington sent 10 men to the plate in its half of the fifth and scored five runs, all charged to starter Bobby Livingston (2-2). He left after facing five batters in that inning and retiring none.

    After Logan's leadoff single, D'Angelo Jimenez pinch hit for Chico. With the count 2-2, Livingston thought he threw strike three.

    "That was right there," said the left-hander, who was making his sixth big league start. "Pretty much almost down the middle."

    But it was called a ball, and Jimenez wound up walking.

    "A good at-bat," said Belliard, who later singled in a run.

    That brought up Zimmerman with the bases loaded, and he turned on Livingston's curveball for three RBIs and a 4-2 lead, which grew to 5-2 on Church's RBI single.

    Washington's bullpen -- and Belliard's spectacular play -- made that stand up.

    In the sixth, Jeff Keppinger hit a bouncer up the middle that deflected off reliever Saul Rivera, forcing Belliard to switch directions. He gloved the ball and, in one motion, spun around and flipped it behind his back and out of the glove to shortstop Felipe Lopez for a forceout at second.

    Said Zimmerman: "It looked cool."

    Said Acta: "Just a beautiful play."

    Still, the manager has cautioned Belliard to make sure he gets it right when the veteran infielder tried that no-look, whip-it-behind-the-back shovel pass during batting practice.

    "I got lucky," Belliard said.

    Game notes


    Washington has won eight of 10 at home. ... Reds C David Ross had three hits, matching his career high. ... Washington went 14-12 in July, the team's first winning month this season.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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