Washington Nationals Recap: Nats Take Series Over Padres With Tonight’s 4-2 Win
The Washington Nationals played the third game of their series with the San Diego Padres and pulled out a win, 4-2 to take two out of three games in the series. The Nats’ complete lineup, which was together for the first time this week, didn’t make it to the start of this game. Denard Span did not play in Thursday’s game due to back problems and he has been put on the 15-day disabled list due to hip inflammation, according to manager Matt Williams. Michael Taylor was back in center field, but he even got hurt in the game.
Andrew Cashner pitched for the Padres. The Nationals were getting hits off Cashner and drawing walks, but were not stringing anything together to push runs across the plate. The night after Tyson Ross pitched for the Padres, his brother Joe Ross was the starting pitcher for the Nationals. He had a terrific outing, going six innings and only giving up one run. He wouldn’t have given up that run absent a throwing error by Wilson Ramos.
The Nationals threatened in the bottom of the first. With two outs, Bryce Harper and Yunel Escobar singled. Ryan Zimmerman hit a ball to deep center that Melvin Upton made a great play on to rob Zimmerman of two RBI’s and end the inning.
The Nationals were involved in a crazy play in the bottom of the third. With one out, Jayson Werth singled. Then, Anthony Rendon hit a ball to shallow center field to Melvin Upton, who trapped the ball. Werth, running from first, stopped halfway between first and second to try to determine whether Upton caught the ball so he would need to hustle back to first. The second base umpire did not make the call. The call on the trapped ball was made by the third base umpire, and by the time Werth figured out Rendon had singled, he could not get to second before getting tagged out. Harper then drew a walk, but Escobar flew out to end the inning and the Nationals got nothing out of having three base runners in the inning.
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Joe Ross did not give up a hit until the fourth inning. Cory Spangenberg led off the inning with a bunt. Wilson Ramos fielded the ball, and then threw it right of the first base bag, which allowed Spangenberg to get all the way to third. The play was ruled a hit and a two base error on Ramos. Yangervis Solarte hit a sacrifice fly to score Spangenberg for the first run scored of the game.
The Nationals loaded the bases with no one out against Cashner in the bottom of the fifth on consecutive singles by Werth, Rendon and Harper. Escobar was hit by a pitch for a tough RBI to tie the game at one. Ryan Zimmerman singled up the middle to score Rendon. However, Harper was thrown out at the plate on a great throw by Melvin Upton from center field. Then, Ian Desmond hit a ball to the second baseman, which got Zimmerman out at second, but left runners on the corners. Desmond then stole second base. Ramos struck out to end the inning. The Nats scored two runs, but really should have been able to get more out of that situation than they did.
Escobar left the game after the end of the fifth inning. He was replaced by Danny Espinosa. Rendon moved to play third base, and Espinosa played second.
Werth extended the Nationals lead in the bottom of the sixth with a home run into the visitor’s bullpen with two outs. It was an impressive homer because it was a cool night at Nats Park and the ball was not flying. Rendon followed that up with a single, and Cashner’s evening was finished. The Padres brought in Bud Norris to face Harper. He hit Harper on the toe with a pitch (so the umpire said) and Bryce was sent to first. Espinosa struck out to end the inning.
Casey Janssen took over the pitching duties for the Nationals in the top of the seventh. Janssen got the first two outs, but then gave up a deep fly ball to Melvin Upton. Taylor ran into the wall trying to catch the ball. He injured his knee on the play and Upton ended up on third base. Taylor had to come out of the game, which meant more changes in the field for the Nats. Trea Turner came in to play second base. Harper moved to center, Werth moved to right field and Espinosa went to left field.
Janssen had to face Jedd Gyorko, who had homered off of Janssen the last time he faced him. Gyorko hit a screaming bullet to third which was ticketed for left field and would have scored Upton. However, Rendon made a fabulous play on the ball, laying out to snare it and then getting to his feet to throw Gyorko at first.
Kevin Quackenbush came in to pitch the bottom of the seventh for the Padres. Zimmerman greeted him by hitting a home run over the scoreboard in right field to make the score 4-1 in favor of the Nationals.
The Nationals went to Drew Storen to pitch the eighth inning. He pitched a 1-2-3 inning before handing the ball to Jonathan Papelbon, who came in to close the game out in the ninth. Papelbon gave up a lead off walk to Spangenberg and he balked to send the runner to second. With two outs, Yonder Alonso singled to drive in Spangenberg and make the score 4-2. The rally was ended when Melvin Upton hit a ball weakly to second for the final out of the game.
Next Game: The Washington Nationals (64-62) start a three game series with the Miami Marlins (54-73) tomorrow night at Nationals Park. You can catch the game on MASN at 7:05 PM ET. Your scheduled starting pitchers for this one are Max Scherzer (11-10, 2.79 ERA) for the Nationals and Adam Conley (1-1, 4.88 ERA) for the Marlins.
Next: Reaction: Nats Unable To Dig Out Of Early Hole Vs. Padres