Until then, Reds starter Bronson Arroyo was having an excellent night, allowing three hits over 7 1-3 scoreless innings, plus helping himself with a sacrifice fly that drove in a run to put the visitors ahead in the fifth.
But when the Nationals sent pinch-hitter Chad Tracy to bat with nobody on and one out in the eighth, Baker lifted Arroyo after 94 pitches and switched to the left-handed Bray. Johnson countered with Nady, who drove a 1-0 pitch just beyond the reach of leaping left fielder Ryan Ludwick.
As the ball bounced around the visitors' bullpen, Ludwick put his hands on his hips, shook his head and chomped on his gum.
That meant Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann avoided a second consecutive hard-luck loss to start the season. The righty nearly matched Arroyo, giving up one run and three hits in seven innings, and Zimmermann's ERA is at 1.29.
"It would have been tragic," Johnson said, "for him to lose that ballgame."
NOTES: Reds 2B Brandon Phillips, who missed the previous three games with a left hamstring injury, pinch hit in the 13th. ... Johnson said OF Brett Carroll will be designated for assignment so CF Rick Ankiel can come off the 15-day DL for Saturday's game.
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