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Nationals Woeful Offense Cannot Make Up Five Run Deficit

Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - Johnny Cueto pitched six innings to win his third consecutive decision and singled in two runs to lead Cincinnati over Washington, 7-2, to start a four-game series at Great American Ball Park.

Cueto (9-2) permitted four hits and two runs, walked four and fanned the same amount. The right-hander has allowed two runs or less in each of his last six starts and saw his season ERA fall to 3.39.

Jonny Gomes and Miguel Cairo hit solo homers in the sixth inning off J.D. Martin as the Reds won for the third time in four games. Gomes had three hits and scored three times, Cairo ended with two RBI, and Drew Stubbs added a two- run double.

Martin (1-5) was charged with six hits and six runs over 5 1/3 innings. Martin, who won his previous start, against San Diego on July 7, also walked three and fanned two hitters.

The Nationals, who have dropped three in a row and five of six, were blanked in their previous two games by Florida.

Gomes singled before Jay Bruce and Cairo walked to load the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the second. Stubbs then doubled to right field. Ryan Hanigan walked to load the bases again before Martin gave up a low-line single to Cueto. The ball one-hopped past second baseman Cristian Guzman into right- center field for a 4-0 margin.

Nyjer Morgan's sacrifice fly and Guzman's RBI single cut the deficit in the third, but the Nationals were turned away despite a threat in the sixth inning. Walks to Ryan Zimmerman and Josh Willingham set the two-out stage for Ivan Rodriguez, who lined a ball off the mound. The ball then caromed off second base umpire Gary Cederstrom and into right field. Zimmerman scored, but was then sent back to third because it was ruled a dead ball. Willie Harris flied out to left to end the inning.

Gomes led off the sixth and sent an 0-1 pitch over the wall in left-center. One out later, Cairo took Martin's first offering to the second deck in left field for his third homer of the year.

Cairo singled in Gomes in the eighth inning.

Reds third baseman Scott Rolen missed his third straight game Monday due to a right hamstring injury. Rolen received a cortisone shot in his hamstring and could go on the disabled list in the next few days...The game was delayed by rain for 42 minutes at the end of the third inning...Bruce is hitless in his last 16 at-bats...The Reds were 3-for-35 with runners in scoring position over their previous five games, but went 3-for-6 in those situations Monday.