Thomas' two-run shot his team-leading 18th of the season, came off Reds closer Alexis Díaz (3-3) and followed a run-scoring double by Jake Alu that broke a 3-3 tie.
A two-run homer by Joey Meneses off Reds starter Graham Ashcraft had tied the game in the eighth. The Reds had led since the first inning behind strong pitching from Ashcraft and three solo homers.
“Beautiful. Beautiful,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said. “Lane, he's a had a good year for us. He's hit the ball with power, and he knocks in some big runs. Joey is the same way. Joey has knocked some big runs in for us.”
Nick Senzel and Matt McLain homered on back-to-back pitches from Nationals starter Patrick Corbin with one out in the first.
Then Elly De La Cruz rocketed a line drive into the left-field seats to put the Reds up 3-0 in the third. His ninth homer of the season was also the first one he’s hit from the right side of the plate.
The lead held up until the eighth when Thomas reached on an infield single and Meneses homered.
“Those guys capitalized on mistakes," Ashcraft said. "Both of the (late) home runs were sliders. The one to Thomas was a spinner. It didn’t move. The one to Meneses was a decent pitch. It was down and away. He got extended on it.”
Ashcraft gave up three runs and five hits and struck out five in eight full innings, his longest outing of the season. Díaz got the Nats in order in the ninth but they got to him in the 10th.
“It is what we asked him to do," Reds manager David Bell said. "It was very difficult. He pitched the ninth. He goes back out for the 10th with a runner on. The top of their order comes around, (which) is swinging the bat really well. We felt good about Alexis going back, but that’s a lot to ask.”
Corbin allowed only four hits in 6 1/3 innings with two strikeouts. Andres Machado (2-0), who got two outs in the eighth, was credited with the win.
Kyle Finnegan got the Reds in order in the 10th inning for his 16th save.
“We hung in there, and that was a testament to Patrick Corbin,” Martinez said. “He gave up three home runs, he settled down and kept us in the game. We came back in the eighth, tied it up and then it was a ballgame."
McLain had three hits for the Reds, who lost their fourth straight. Cincinnati dropped three straight in Chicago this week, including embarrassing 20-9 and 16-6 setbacks.
The Reds entered Friday in second place in the National League Central, a half game behind Milwaukee. The Nationals are in last place in the NL East.
UP AND DOWN
Blake Rutherford was promoted from Triple-A Rochester and made his major league debut, starting in left field and batting sixth for Washington. He was 0 for 4.... OF Corey Dickerson cleared unconditional release waivers and is now a free agent.
Reds 2B Jonathan India (plantar faciitis) is expected to return on Tuesday. ... RHP Teejay Antone, who missed the entire 2022 season after Tommy John surgery, could rejoin the team in late August. ... Bell said OF Jake Fraley was “unavailable” for the game but didn't provide details.
Reds rookie lefty Andrew Abbott (6-2, 1.90 ERA, 66 Ks) faces Nationals right-hander Joan Adon (0-0, 5.40 ERA) on Saturday afternoon.
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB
Copyright 2023 STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.