Reds spoil top prospect Cavalli’s debut, beat Nats 7-3

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donovan Solano hit a two-run double off Cade Cavalli in the pitching prospect’s big league debut, and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Washington Nationals 7-3 on Friday night.

Aristides Aquino drove in three runs for Cincinnati, which had dropped four in a row. Mike Minor (3-10) pitched seven sparkling innings for his second straight win.

Cavalli, the No. 22 selection in the 2020 amateur draft, was tagged for seven runs and six...

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Donovan Solano hit a two-run double off Cade Cavalli in the pitching prospect’s big league debut, and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Washington Nationals 7-3 on Friday night.

Aristides Aquino drove in three runs for Cincinnati, which had dropped four in a row. Mike Minor (3-10) pitched seven sparkling innings for his second straight win.

Cavalli, the No. 22 selection in the 2020 amateur draft, was tagged for seven runs and six hits in 4 1/3 innings. The right-hander, who turned 24 on Aug. 14, was called up from the minors earlier in the day.

For Washington, the worst team in the majors and less than a month removed from trading Juan Soto to San Diego as the latest step in a multiyear teardown, Cavalli’s debut was one of the season’s most anticipated moments. He was the Nationals’ minor league pitcher of the year in 2021, and was 6-4 with a 3.71 ERA in 20 starts at Triple-A Rochester this season.

Instead, things went awry almost immediately.

The Reds scored twice in the first. Jonathan India was hit by a pitch, moved up on a passed ball and scored on Washington shortstop CJ Abrams’ errant throw to first on Solano’s infield single. Solano then scored on TJ Friedl’s double to right.

Solano’s double in the third lifted Cincinnati to a 4-0 lead.

Cavalli (0-1) pitched a 1-2-3 fourth, but loaded the bases with one out in the fifth. He was pulled after hitting his third batter of the night, and Erasmo Ramirez promptly yielded Aquino’s three-run double to left-center.

Cavalli’s outing marked the 42nd consecutive game a Washington starter did not earn a victory, the longest streak in major league history.

Minor was charged with two runs and six hits in his longest outing of the season. He reduced his ERA to a season-low 6.10.

Luke Voit hit a solo drive in the sixth for Washington. It was his fourth homer in 17 games since arriving from San Diego as part of the Soto deal.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Reds: India (left leg discomfort) was back in the lineup after missing Thursday’s game. … INF Mike Moustakas (left calf) missed his third consecutive game. … OF Nick Senzel (left hamstring) was out of the lineup.

Nationals: Washington activated 2B Luis García from the 10-day injured list and released 3B Maikel Franco. Garcia missed 11 games with a left groin strain. Franco hit .229 with nine homers and 39 RBIs, but lost the starting third base job to Ildemaro Vargas and had just one at-bat in the Nationals’ last nine games.

UP NEXT

Luis Cessa (3-2, 5.67 ERA) makes his third start of the season and second this week for Cincinnati. Cessa allowed two runs in two innings Monday at Philadelphia. Paolo Espino (0-5, 4.31 ERA) pitches for Washington. He is 0-5 with a 5.34 ERA in 13 starts since joining the rotation June 12.

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