Comeback falls short as Washington Nationals fall to Padres, lose ground in division


The Washington Nationals saw their three-game winning streak come to an end Wednesday night as the team couldn’t complete a late-inning comeback and lost to the San Diego Padres, 6-5. With the loss and the Mets’ win over the Phillies, the Nationals lost ground in the NL East and now trail New York by 6.5 games.

For a while it looked like the Nationals were poised to stage one of their biggest comebacks of the season and shock the Padres late in the game. Facing a 6-2 deficit, The Nationals rallied to score three runs in the bottom of the inning. Unfortunately, the rally ended there and they were never able to tie it up against the Padres’ bullpen.

Hours before the rally, Gio Gonzalez got the start for the Nationals and the left-hander looked OK early on. Gonzalez fell into a two-on, no-out hole in the top of the first inning, but he recovered and pitched two scoreless frames to start the game. In the third inning, however, the wheels fell off for Gonzalez.

Matt Kemp got the scoring started for the Padres with a two-run double in the third. Later in the inning, Justin Upton hit a two-run homer to double the Padres’ lead to 4-0. San Diego scored their fifth run against Gonzalez on a sacrifice fly in the top of the fourth.

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It was a rough start for Gonzalez, who allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits in just 4 2/3 innings of work. He struck out six batter and walked two.

While Gonzalez struggled, the Nationals weren’t able to do much against Padres starter Tyson Ross early in the game.

Ross allowed just two runs in the first six innings. The Nationals scored their first run on an RBI groundout off the bat of Ryan Zimmerman in the fourth inning. Zimmerman made it a 5-2 game with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the sixth.

After the Padres scored their sixth run in the top of the seventh, the Nationals started to chip away at San Diego’s lead. Washington made it a 6-3 game when Anthony Rendon scored on a bases-loaded walk from Padres reliever shawn Kelley. Later in the inning, Bryce Harper hit an RBI single to cut the Padres’ lead to 6-5.

Unfortunately for the Nationals, Yunel Escobar swung at a 3-0 pitch and grounded into an inning-ending double play. The Padres’ bullpen shut the Nationals down the rest of the way, securing a 6-5 win for San Diego.

Next Game: The Nationals look to earn a series victory over the Padres tomorrow night at Nationals Park. Joe Ross gets the start for the Nationals, while Andrew Cashner takes the mound for the Padres. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.

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