Washington Nationals 5-4 Over San Diego Padres For Third Straight Win: Bryce Harper And Jordan Zimmermann Named All-Stars

Patrick McDermott

Just moments after Bryce Harper was named to the starting lineup for the NL All-Star team the Washington Nationals' 20-year-old slugger hit a sac fly to left that tied the San Diego Padres up at 4-4. Ryan Zimmerman's RBI single in the next at bat gave the Nats a 5-4 lead and the win.

Everth Cabrera lined a 1-2 slider to Jayson Werth in right on the seventh pitch of his first inning at bat against Washington Nationals' right-hander Jordan Zimmermann. A 93 mph 1-2 fastball got the Nats' 27-year-old starter a groundout to second from San Diego center fielder Will Venable for two quick outs, but a 94 mph 1-1 heater to Carlos Quentin was lined to left for a two-out double. Zimmermann went to a 2-2 count with Chase Headley, but got the Padres' third baseman looking with an 87 mph change on the 20th pitch of a scoreless first. Former Nationals' starter Jason Marquis needed just nine pitches to retire the Nats in order in the bottom of the frame. 0-0 after one in D.C.

Padres' first baseman Jesus Guzman doubled to left-center and off the #NATITUDE wall on a hop on a 1-2 four-seamer from Jordan Zimmermann in the first at bat of the second. Chris Denorfia's groundout to second moved Guzman over to third, but Logan Forsythe failed to score the runner, grounding right back to Zimmermann on the mound, and Yasmani Grandal failed to recognize the 76 mph curve the Nationals' starter dropped on the Padres' catcher for a called strike three that ended a scoreless 17-pitch second.

Ryan Zimmerman reached safely on an infield single. Logan Forsythe made a diving play at second, but could only knock it down. Zimmerman was doubled up in the next at bat, however, when Adam LaRoche lined to first, allowing Padres' first baseman Jesus Guzman to take a step to the bag before Zimmerman could scurry back. Jayson Werth's fly to center ended the second after 12 pitches from Jason Marquis.

The Padres' starter took a 2-2 slider to right and off the out-of-town scoreboard on a hop for the second straight leadoff double off Jordan Zimmermann. An Everth Cabrera groundout moved Marquis to third, but Zimmermann threw a 95 mph 0-2 fastball by Will Venable up high for out no.2 and got a weak groundout to third that Ryan Zimmerman handled with an 0-2 curve to Carlos Quentin. 14-pitch inning, 51 total in three scoreless.

Jason Marquis left an 0-1 slider up in the zone that Anthony Rendon tore into, singling through the left side of the infield to start the Nationals' third. Kurt Suzuki doubled to left on a full-count slider up in the zone from the Padres' starter, putting runners on second and third with no one out. Jordan Zimmermann K'd swinging on an 0-2 bender for out no.1, but Denard Span walked on four pitches to load the bases for Ian Desmond. Desmond grounded to first and Jesus Guzman came home for the force, but Anthony Rendon slid through the catcher's back leg and Yasmani Grandal's knee bent back in gruesome fashion. Two down, but the Padres' catcher left the game and had to be helped off the field. Bryce Harper stepped in with the bases loaded, spit on a low 2-1 change and took a 3-1 pitch from Marquis for ball four and a bases loaded walk that made it 1-0 Nationals after three. 28-pitch inning for the Padres' starter.

Chase Headley worked the count full but grounded out to first to start the top of the fourth. Jesus Guzman was way out in front when he K'd swinging at 1-2 slider from Jordan Zimmermann for out no.2. and a high hopper to third by Chris Denorfia ended a quick, 16-pitch fourth. Four scoreless on 67 pitches. Three pitches into the Nationals' fourth, Zimmermann had a 2-0 lead to work with after Adam LaRoche crushed a 2-0 sinker from Jason Marquis, sending a solo home run to the right field bullpen for his 13th blast of 2013. 2-0 Nationals after four.

Jordan Zimmermann walked Logan Forsythe to start the fifth. Forsythe stole second with Nick Hundley at the plate, took third on a groundout to short by the Padres' catcher and scored when Jason Marquis grounded out to short to cut the Nats' lead in half at 2-1. 26-pitch fifth for Zimmermann, 93 after five. Denard Span singled to start the Nationals' half of the fifth and stole second with Ian Desmond at the plate. Desmond's pop to right found the outfield grass between three converging Padres, moving Span over to third and Bryce Harper's single to center brought the Nationals' third run in, 3-1 Nats after five.

Carlos Quentin lined a first-pitch curve to center for a one-out single in the sixth. Chase Headley took a 1-1 change through the right side for the second straight single and Nats' skipper Davey Johnson turned to his pen after Zimmermann's 101st pitch. Ross Ohlendorf's third pitch ended up in the left field bullpen as Jesus Guzman crushed a 95 mph 1-1 fastball for a three-run home run and a 4-3 lead after five and a half. Jayson Werth walked with one down in the Nationals' sixth, Anthony Rendon took a 1-2 two-seamer outside for a called strike three and Kurt Suzuki flew out to center to end the bottom of the inning. 4-3 Padres.

Nick Hundley singled to center to start the seventh and took second a sac bunt by pinch hitter Pedro Ciriaco. Ross Ohlendorf got Everth Cabrera swinging with a 1-2 slider for out no.2 and Will Venable flew to right to end the top of the seventh. Padres' right-hander Nick Vincent threw a backdoor 0-2 cutter to Roger Bernadina and got a called strike three for out no.1 of the Nats' seventh. Denard Span lined a full-count slider to left for a one-out opposite field single. Ian Desmond singled to right an 0-1 pitch to right for the second straight opposite field hit, putting two on in front of Bryce Harper, so the Padres went to the pen for Joe Thatcher. Moments after Harper was named to his second All-Star Game he stepped in with two on. A wild pitch from Thatcher moved both runners into scoring position and a sac fly from the Nationals' All-Star outfielder tied the game up at 4-4. Ryan Zimmerman got a new pitcher as the Padres turned to Luke Gregorson, and another opposite field single to right by Zimmerman brought Ian Desmond around to make it 5-4 Nationals after seven in D.C.

Drew Storen got the first two outs of the eighth on two pitches with Carlos Quentin popped out to third third and Chase Headley lining out to Ryan Zimmerman. Jesus Guzman took an 0-2 slider for a called strike three and Storen had a five-pitch 1-2-3 inning after which no one was booing. 5-4 Nationals. Adam LaRoche singled off Gregorson in the Nationals' eighth, but three outs later the Nats handed a one-run lead to their closer. Cue his music...

Pitch it, Soriano! Pitch it, Soriano! Strike him out, Soriano! Strike him out, Soriano!" Rafael Soriano took the mound in the ninth looking for save no. 24 of 2013. Chris Denorfia flew to right field. ONE!!! Logan Forsythe singled to center on a first-pitch fastball. Nick Hundley lined a full-count fastball to center for the second straight hit. Mark Kotsay grounded back to the mound and off Soriano to Anthony Rendon, who made the play and throw to first for out no.2. Everth Cabrera stepped in with two on and two out and grounded sharply to first ... where Adam LaRoche made a diving play and a toss to the covering pitcher. Ballgame!!

Work's done. Untuck that jersey, son!!

Nationals now 45-42

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