Tony Cingrani struck out a career-high 11 -- including four in one inning -- while pitching two-hit ball through the sixth, and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Washington Nationals5-2 Sunday to avoid a four-game sweep.

Brandon Phillipshad a two-run single as the Reds (14-12) improved to a major league-worst 2-9 on the road.

Cingrani (2-0) pitched three perfect innings before Denard Span reached base to lead off the fourth -- on a strikeout and wild pitch. Danny Espinosafollowed with a double, but Cingrani struck out three more hitters to escape the inning without allowing any runs.

In doing so, Cingrani joined Joe Nuxhall, Mario Soto, Tim Birtsas and Frankie Rodriguezas the only Reds with a four-strikeout inning.

Cingrani also became the first Cincinnati rookie to strike out 10 in a game since Johnny Cueto struck out 10 San Diego Padres on July 22, 2008, and the first left-handed Cincinnati rookie to do so since since Dennys Reyes struck out 12 Pittsburgh Pirateson August 20, 1998.

The Reds, who had one hit in each of the series' first two games, found enough offense Sunday to lead from the first inning onward.

Cincinnati had four infield singles, and not only did No. 9 hitter Cingrani and No. 8 hitter Corky Miller score after their infield hits, Miller scored on an infield hit by Zack Cozart.

Joey Vottoprovided the Reds' only extra-base hit, a first-inning double that set the stage for Phillips' two-run single.

Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki doubled in the seventh, scoring Ian Desmond. Desmond then doubled in the eighth to score Bryce Harper, who walked in a 10-pitch plate appearance.

Ross Detwiler(1-2) allowed three earned runs in five innings, and his 11 hits allowed matched a career high.

Aroldis Chapman earned his fifth save in five opportunities.

The Reds road trip continues Monday night with the first of three against the Cardinals in Saint Louis. Coverage begins at 6 05 with Sportstalk and then the Royal Shell Vacations Inside Pitch on 700 WLW.