PHOENIX (AP) – Mark Reynolds needed one game – and two big swings – to make his presence felt with the Washington Nationals.
After failing to find a job in the offseason, Reynolds homered twice in his first game as a National on Sunday night, lifting his new team over the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-4 to complete a four-game sweep.
“It’s good to be back in the big leagues again,” he said, “and doing what I’ve been doing for a long time.”
The Diamondbacks hadn’t lost a series all season until the Nationals took four straight.
“I don’t know whether it was a little bit of them or a little bit of us,” Washington shortstop Trea Turner said, “but it’s great for us to come out on top in all these games and get this thing rolling.”
Reynolds had his contract selected from Triple-A Syracuse on Saturday. He homered off Zack Godley in the sixth inning, then broke a 4-4 tie with a two-run shot off Archie Bradley (0-1) in the eighth after the Diamondbacks rallied with a three-run seventh.
“I am not going to shy away from what I have been doing,” said Bradley, who challenged Reynolds with his blistering fastball. “I just got to be doing it. It is easy to sit here and overthink stuff, you should have thrown this, you should have thrown that, but the guy just beat me.”
Reynolds signed a minor league deal with Washington in April after collecting 30 home runs and 97 RBIs with Colorado last season. The Nationals are Reynolds’ eighth major league team in 12 seasons. The 34-year-old was called up when Ryan Zimmerman was placed on the 10-day disabled list with an oblique strain.
Of Reynolds’ 283 career home runs, 64 have come at Chase Field. He played his first four seasons with the Diamondbacks and made frequent trips there with Colorado.
“I’ve had a lot of at-bats at this place,” he said. “I played my last big league game in the playoffs here last year (the Rockies’ wild-card loss to Arizona). It’s always good to be back here in the desert. I lived here for 10 years. It feels like home.”
Bryce Harper and Turner also homered for the Nationals, winners of 13 of 15. Ryan Madson (1-2) went 1 1/3 innings in relief.
Sean Doolittle pitched a scoreless ninth for his ninth save in nine tries. Left fielder Andrew Stevenson made a running grab of pinch-hitter John Ryan Murphy’s deep fly ball to help save the victory.
The Diamondbacks lost their fifth straight.
“These are tough days,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “These are the grinding hard days that all good teams go through, and this is when we got to stick together and believe in one another.”
Reynolds has a multihomer game with seven major league teams, one shy of Mike Cameron for the most ever, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Nationals: 3B Anthony Rendon got his first day off since coming off the DL on May 5. He missed three weeks after fouling a ball off his big toe.
Diamondbacks: 3B Jake Lamb (shoulder) began a rehab assignment Sunday at Class A Visalia. … RHP Shelby Miller pitched three perfect innings in an extended spring training game on Friday, his first rehab outing since undergoing Tommy John surgery on May 10 of last year.
Arguably the worst slump of Paul Goldschmidt’s career showed little sign of subsiding. The big first baseman went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts and has two hits in his last 46 at-bats. He struck out with Daniel Descalso at third to end the seventh. Goldschmidt is hitting .210 for the season.
The Nationals have altered their rotation so that Max Scherzer will get the start Wednesday against the New York Yankees. He will be pitching on usual rest because Washington has Monday off.
Nationals: RHP Gio Gonzalez (4-2, 2.22 ERA) takes the mound for Washington on Tuesday night against Masahiro Tanaka (4-2, 4.66) in the opener of a two-game home series against the Yankees.
Diamondbacks: Arizona turns to LH Patrick Corbin (4-0, 2.12 ERA) to try to end its skid, facing RH Junior Guerra (2-3, 3.09) in the opener of a three-game series against Milwaukee.
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