Votto's HR in 14th extends Nationals' skid to 6

Reds' Dave Sappelt is tagged out by Nationals third baseman Brian Bixler, on Sunday. (AP Photo/David Kohl)

CINCINNATI (AP) - Three managers, eight pitchers and the team's longest game since moving to Washington weren't enough to keep the Nationals from their sixth consecutive loss.

Joey Votto led off the 14th inning with his second home run of the game, lifting the Cincinnati Reds over the Nationals 5-4 Sunday after the teams played 5 hours, 15 minutes.

"It's too bad somebody wasn't in scoring position," said manager Davey Johnson, who was ejected in the seventh inning for arguing that Reds starter Johnny Cueto had hit Michael Morse. "We would have walked (Votto)."

Reds pinch-hitter Yonder Alonso opened the ninth with a home run off Drew Storen, making it 4-all.

Votto hit a full-count pitch from Collin Balester (1-3), Washington's seventh and last relief pitcher, into the left-field bleachers to push the Reds over .500 for the first time since July 3.

"I knew he was a good (opposite-field) hitter," Balester said. "He just reached out and put it over the fence and the game ended."

It was a familiar scene for him: Balester was on the mound for the Reds' 4-3 walkoff win Friday.

The Nationals matched their worst losing streak of the season. Not since they moved from Montreal in 2005 had they played for so long - the previous longest was 5:13 on Sept. 14, 2007, a 13-inning game against Atlanta.

The Nationals left after the game for Atlanta, where they get Monday off.
After taking over for Johnson, bench coach Pat Corrales was ejected for complaining about a pitch. The Nationals ended up being led by third-base coach Bo Porter.

The Nationals loaded the bases with one out in the top of the 10th, but Ian Desmond lined to shortstop Edgar Renteria, who stepped on second for an unassisted double play.

Cueto and five Reds relievers combined for 19 strikeouts, tying the team record. Cueto fanned 11 in seven innings and maintained his NL ERA lead despite allowing a season-high nine hits. He gave up two runs and finished the day with a 2.05 ERA - up from the 2.03 figure he took into the game. Cueto hit two batters and walked one.

Washington pushed across a run with two outs in the first on a single by Rick Ankiel, Morse's walk and Danny Espinosa's single.

Votto hit a solo homer in the first and his 26th of the season to win it.
Jay Bruce put the Reds ahead in the fourth with his 28th homer. The Nationals strung together consecutive inning-opening singles by Desmond, Jayson Werth and Ankiel to make it 2-all in the fifth.

Cueto contributed a surprising single to Cincinnati's one-run rally in the fifth. Ryan Hanigan, 10 for 21 (.476) in his previous six starts going into the game, led off with a single on his way to going 3 for 4. After Paul Janish flied out, Cueto softly lined a slug bunt past pitcher Jordan Zimmerman's head into center field for his second hit in 41 at-bats this season.

Zimmerman hit Brandon Phillips with a pitch to load the bases and walked Fred Lewis, giving the Reds a 3-2 lead.

Zimmerman, making what is expected to be his last start of the season, allowed six hits and three runs with one walk and six strikeouts in 4 1-3 innings, his shortest of the season. He had made 25 starts and pitched 161 1-3 innings in his first full season since undergoing Tommy John surgery in August 2009.

"This start right here makes me want to get back on the mound," he said.

"It'll make me more ready to get back on the mound in spring training."

Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, 3 for 25 (.120) over his last six games, didn't start for the Nationals, but he tied it in the eighth by driving in Espinosa from second base with a two-out, pinch-hit single off Aroldis Chapman.

The Nationals took a ninth-inning lead when Desmond led off with a single, stole second and scored on Werth's single.

Alonso tied it with his third homer since being called up from Triple-A Louisville on July 26. Storen has blown fifth of 39 save opportunities.

NOTES: Reds 3B Scott Rolen has started taking ground balls and live batting practice and hopes to leave soon on a rehab assignment. He underwent arthroscopic surgery on Aug. 3 to remove bone spurs and fragments from his left shoulder. ... After a day off Monday in Atlanta, the Nationals open a three-game series against the Braves with RHP Livan Hernandez making his 36th career start against them, the most by any active pitcher. Milwaukee's Randy Wolf is next with 26 starts. ... Cincinnati RHP Homer Bailey makes his first career home start Monday against the Phillies after going 0-2 with a 7.00 ERA in four starts at Philadelphia.