Midfielder Lucas Rodriguez had two goals and one assist to help D.C. United register a 4-1 victory over hosts FC Cincinnati on Thursday night.
Forward Wayne Rooney and midfielder Paul Arriola each had one goal and one assist as D.C. won for just the second time in its past 10 matches (2-2-6).
Defender Leonardo Jara also had an assist for D.C. (9-5-8, 35 points), who moved into second place in the Eastern Conference, one point behind the Philadelphia Union.
Midfielder Emmanuel Ledesma scored on a penalty kick for FC Cincinnati (5-14-2, 17 points), who had a two-game winning streak halted. The contest marked the fifth time that the expansion franchise allowed four or more goals in a match and raised its league-worst goals allowed total to 49.
Rodriguez's second goal put D.C. ahead to stay. It came in the 59th minute, five minutes after FC Cincinnati tied the score.
Rodriguez received a pass from Arriola and sent a right-footed shot toward the net. The ball deflected off the right shoulder of defender Kendall Watson, leaving FC Cincinnati goalkeeper Spencer Richey with no chance of stopping the shot.
Five minutes later, Rooney delivered his team-best 11th goal to make it 3-1. Jara sent a long pass from just inside midfield and Rooney collected the ball, shed two defenders, and sent a right-footed ground shot into the left corner.
The lead grew to 4-1 in the 73rd minute when Rodriguez fed Arriola, who made a long run down the left side. Arriola cut toward the net and sent a hard left-footed blast past Richey.
Goalkeeper Chris Seitz made two saves for D.C., which had a 17-11 edge in shots and put eight on target. FC Cincinnati put just three on net.
FC Cincinnati tied the score at 1-1 in the 54th minute after it received a penalty kick when a free kick hit the left arm of Arriola in the box.
Ledesma started on his approach, then hesitated to freeze Seitz. Ledesma resumed his attempt and easily booted a left-footed shot into the left corner.
Rodriguez's first goal came in the 42nd minute and was set up by a short pass from Rooney. Rodriguez was able to look toward the goal and size up Richey's location before drilling a right-footed shot inside the far post.