Nationals Reds Baseball

Cincinnati Reds' Eugenio Suarez blows a bubble while waiting for the next pitch against and Washington Nationals during the ninth inning of a baseball game Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, in Cincinnati. The Reds defeated the Nationals 9-2. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

CINCINNATI (AP) — Tyler Stephenson and Nick Castellanos hit consecutive home runs, Kyle Farmer broke open the game with a grand slam and the Cincinnati Reds kept alive their slim playoff hopes by routing the Washington Nationals 9-2 Sunday.

Cincinnati won its third straight and is 5 1/2 games behind St. Louis for the second NL wild card with six games left, tied with Philadelphia. The Cardinals played later Sunday.

At 81-75, the Reds ensured consecutive non-losing seasons for the first time since 2012 and '13.

Tyler Mahle (13-6) allowed one unearned run and three hits in six innings as the Reds won a third straight game and won a series for the first time since a four-game sweep of Miami from Aug. 19-22. They had dropped eight straight series before splitting two games against Pittsburgh.

NL batting leader Juan Soto of Washington went 0 for 3, dropping his average to .322.

Josh Rogers (2-1) gave up three runs, seven hits and a season-high four walks in 4 2/3 innings, his fifth start since Tommy John surgery.

India misplayed Lane Thomas' grounder, allowing the ball to bounce off his body and into right field for a run-scoring error in the fifth.

Indians doubled leading off the botton half, Stephenson hit an opposite-field homer to right and Castellanos followed with his career-best 32nd, a drive to left-center field, Castellanos has homered in three straight games.

Farmer made it 7-1 in the sixth against Ryne Harper with his career slam.

TRAINING ROOM

Reds: LHP Amir Garrett felt discomfort while pitching in the eighth inning. After talking with an athletic trainer and throwing a couple of warmup pitches, he got the inning's final out.

UP NEXT

Nationals: RHP Josiah Gray (1-2), Monday's scheduled starter at Colorado, allowed two runs in six innings of his first career start on Wednesday at Miami.

Reds: LHP Reiver Sanmartin will be called up from Triple-A Louisville to make his major league debut starting in place of injured LHP Wade Miley for Cincinnati's game on Monday against the Pirates, which was postponed from Wednesday.