Gennett, the second baseman, collected at least four hits in a game for the second time this month as the Reds defeated the Washington Nationals 6-2 on Sunday to salvage the finale of the three-game series and break a four-game skid.
"He has just been swinging the bat and playing great defense," said right-handed pitcher Scott Feldman, the starter and winner for the Reds against Washington. "I am really happy for him. He is showing what he can do up here. He obviously has some pop. He has been doing a great job and it has been fun to watch."
Feldman said Gennett also keeps the spirits up for the Reds in the clubhouse.
"He just does a lot of things to keep it loose," Feldman said of Gennett, now hitting .308.
Gennett went 4-for-5, including a homer, and drove in two runs and catcher Tucker Barnhart was 2-for-4 with two RBIs.
Gennett, a Cincinnati native, was 8-for-14 in the series with three RBIs. It was the second four-hit game for Gennett with the Reds, as he had five hits (four home runs) on June 6 against the St. Louis Cardinals.
"He has been a sparkplug for us," said Reds right fielder Scott Schebler. "That is what we need right now."
Schebler tossed a relay throw to Gennett, who fired to home to nail Brian Goodwin for the first out in the fifth. That was big as the Nationals would have had runners on second and third and no outs with Daniel Murphy at the plate if Goodwin would have been held by third base coach Bob Henley.
"That's the toughest job on the field," Washington manager Dusty Baker said of being the third base coach.
"Two great throws," Feldman said.
Feldman (6-5) gave up two runs in seven innings as last-place Cincinnati (31-43) won for just the second time in 15 games. Feldman has the only two wins by a Reds starter since June 8.
"I got off to a nice early lead," said Feldman, who used an effective changeup. "Me and Tucker worked well together. It was just being on the same page. I always say I have to throw my changeup more."
The loser was Washington starter Tanner Roark (6-5), who gave up nine hits and six runs in six innings. He was coming off the shortest start of his career, when he allowed six runs in 2 2/3 innings at Miami on June 19. Roark now has a 5.15 ERA after posting a mark of 2.83 in 2016.
"Everything was just out reach or an infield hit," Baker said of the hits against Roark. "He settled down in the middle innings and found his control. He threw the ball better than the score indicated. It is frustrating for him."
The Reds scored five runs in the first off Roark as Gennett, the second batter of the game, had an RBI single and then scored on a throwing error by right fielder Bryce Harper. Patrick Kivlehan drove in a run with a fielder's choice and Barnhart, the No. 8 hitter, had a two-run double off Harper's glove with two outs to make it 5-0.
Gennett had a solo homer in the second to up the margin to 6-0. Gennett and Washington third baseman Anthony Rendon, who was 0-for-4, have both had 10 RBIs in a game this season -- the first time two players have done that in one season since RBIs became an official statistic in 1920.
Michael A. Taylor hit a two-run homer in the fourth to trim the lead to 6-2. Taylor has three homers in the last two games and five homers in his last 11.
"I thought they gave Scott some really good at-bats early and jacked up his pitch count," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "Nothing was coming easy. You take the six-run lead and go 'OK, they're going to make a push.' Taylor hits a two-run homer and (you think) 'We could use a tack-on run.' We didn't get any more, but between Scott and the bullpen they were able to shut it down. I thought Scott was at his best in those last three innings or so."
Harper had three hits for Washington (45-30) and Goodwin had two. Billy Hamilton had two hits for the Reds.
"We had some runners on base," said Baker, the former Reds skipper.
NOTES: Washington LHP Gio Gonzalez (7-1, 2.96 ERA) will face Cubs RHP Eddie Butler (3-2, 4.19) on Monday at Nationals Park. ... Reds RHP Brandon Finnegan (1-0, 2.70) will oppose Cardinals RHP Michael Wacha (3-3, 4.76) on Monday in a makeup game at St. Louis. ... Reds bench coach Jim Riggleman is from nearby Rockville, Md., and was the manager of the Nationals from 2009 to 2011. ... The Nationals are 20-15 at home and 25-15 on the road.