Nationals left fielder Juan Soto wasn’t in the lineup to hit and ace Max Scherzer wasn’t on the mound to pitch.
But the Nationals did well with their replacements, beating the Cincinnati Reds 7-6 on Monday before 22,394 fans at Nationals Park as Trea Turner had two hits and drove in four runs.
The second game of the homestand is Tuesday night with Joe Ross getting the start for Washington, which is 63-55 and 13-18 in one-run games.
Soto was out of the lineup Monday after he sprained his ankle on Sunday in New York. He was replaced by Gerardo “Baby Shark” Parra and the veteran outfielder had an RBI single in his first at-bat and also had a hit in the sixth inning.
Soto is considered to be day-to-day.
“I’m feeling really good now,” Soto said before the game. “It’s not swelling or anything, and it looks real good.”
Washington starter Erick Fedde (3-2) bounced back after giving up a homer on the first pitch of the game to Reds outfielder Jesse Winker.
Fedde allowed just two runs in six innings, while closer Sean Doolittle got three outs in the ninth for the save despite allowing two runs.
Playing first base with Ryan Zimmerman on the injured list, Matt Adams had a two-run homer in the first inning for a 2-0 Nationals lead.
Turner hit a three-run homer in the fourth to give the Nationals a 6-2 lead against Reds starter Anthony DeScalfani (7-7), who yielded six runs in just four innings.
Washington reliever Tanner Rainey gave up a two-run homer to Aristides Aquino as the Reds trimmed the margin to 7-4 in the top of the eighth.
Scherzer, who has made just 20 starts, is slated to throw a simulated game Tuesday at Nationals Park. He has made just one start in the last month.
“He’s been feeling great,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “The next step is to get him, once his intensity goes up and he’s really fired up, to see how he recovers the next day or two. That’s where we’re at.”
Howie Kendrick came off the injured list Monday while Zimmerman has yet to run at full speed as he deals with plantar fasciitis.
“Things are getting better,” Zimmerman said. “We’ll see how things go this week and go from there. I don’t ever like to put dates or anything like that, but things have been going in the right direction.”
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