Nationals 6-0 over Padres: Tanner Roark w/ 11 Ks, 17 scoreless vs San Diego this season

Denis Poroy

Washington Nationals' right-hander Tanner Roark threw eight scoreless innings on 107 pitches, walking no one, striking out 11 and inducing 10 ground ball outs in what ended up being a 6-0 series opening win over the San Diego Padres in Petco Park.

Western Metal Supply Co. Top 5:

5. Quick Recap: Denard Span failed to extend his seven-game hit streak in his first at bat tonight in Petco Park, but the Washington Nationals' 30-year-old leadoff man took what San Diego Padres' starter Tyson Ross gave him, a leadoff walk. Span then scored when Anthony Rendon took a 94 mph 2-2 fastball out to left field and into the first row of the second deck for a two-run blast and a 2-0 lead after one.

The Nationals put two on with one out in the sixth after an error on a Ryan Zimmerman grounder and a walk to Adam LaRoche and Wilson Ramos followed with an opposite field, ground-rule double to right field that brought Zimmerman around to make it 3-0 Nats. The Nationals loaded the bases when Ian Desmond walked, and Danny Espinosa took a HBP on the knee to force in run no.4. 4-0 Nationals. A two-run single by Nate McLouth knocked Ross out and made it 6-0 Nats.

That's how it ended. 6-0 Nationals.

4. Road Roark: Tanner Roark went pitch-for-pitch with Texas Rangers' ace Yu Darvish last time out, but one mistake by the Nationals' 27-year-old right-hander cost him the game.

Roark threw six scoreless innings in the nation's capital, but an 0-1 change to Leonys Martin was up just enough in the zone that the Rangers' outfielder was able to send it out over the right field wall for a solo home run in what ended up a 2-0 win in which Darvish threw eight scoreless. Roark, Nats' skipper Matt Williams said afterwards, struggled with his fastball command early, but found and was able to establish it.

"He made one mistake to Martin," Williams said, "a little changeup that was up in the strike zone, but other than that he matched [Darvish] perfectly and made pitches when he had to as well. He just made one mistake and hung a changeup. I think he pitched pretty well though."

"It was just a bad pitch and it got hit," Roark said.

The loss last Sunday was Roark's third straight, leaving him (3-4) after 11 outings this season, over which he had a 3.25 ERA, a 3.89 FIP, 18 walks (2.34 BB/9) and 50 Ks (6.49 K/9) in 69 1/3 IP before tonight.

Roark's last four starts were at home in Nationals Park.

Tonight he was taking on the San Diego Padres in his first road start since May 10th, when he gave up two hits and one run in 7 2/3 IP in the O.Co Coliseum. On the road this season, Roark was (1-1) so far in 2014, with an ERA four runs higher (5.65) than it is at home (1.55), a 4.78 FIP, seven walks (2.20 BB/9) and 23 Ks (7.22 K/9) in 28 2/3 IP, over which opposing hitters have put up a .252/.317/.468 line.

Roark was facing the Padres for the second time in his two major league seasons, after having thrown a complete game shutout against San Diego when the two teams met in D.C. earlier this season. Roark took the mound in the first with a 2-0 lead courtesy of Anthony Rendon's two-run first inning home run and got right to work...

1st: Everth Cabrera went down on a foul tip strike three on an 0-2 heater. Seth Smith grounded out to second for out no.2. Carlos Quentin was strikeout victim no.2 when he went down swinging at a 92 mph 1-2 fastball to end a 17-pitch first by Roark.

2nd: Chase Headley flew out to Nate McLouth in foul territory in right. Yonder Alonso went the other way with a first pitch fastball outside and doubled to left. Will Venable tried to do the same, but flew out to Ryan Zimmerman in left for out no.2. Padres' catcher Rene Rivera stepped in with a runner on second and two down and worked the count full before taking a fastball knee-high inside for a called strike three. 11-pitch inning for Roark, 28 total after two scoreless.

3rd: Padres' second baseman Jace Peterson took a 91 mph 3-2 fastball for a called strike three. Tyson Ross K'd swinging at an 0-2 slider. Everth Cabrera tried to sneak a bunt down the third base line, but Roark was on it, throwing to first to end a 13-pitch frame and his third scoreless inning. 41 pitches total after three.

4th: Seth Smith flew out to Denard Span in center. Anthony Rendon took a weird hop off his hand and misfired on the throw to first. E:5. Chase Headley battled for eight pitches before he K'd swinging at a 92 mph 3-2 fastball for out no.2. Yonder Alonso got a 2-2 curve he had no chance of hitting. K no.7 for Roark. 19-pitch inning, 60P total after four. 2-0 Nats.

5th: Will Venable grounded back to the mound. Rene Rivera sent a broken-bat roller out to short for out no.2. Anthony Rendon was charged with his second error of the game on a two-hopper off Jace Peterson's bat that jumped up on the Nats' third baseman at the last second. Tyson Ross stepped in with a runner on, and went down looking at an 0-2 fastball. K no. 8. 14 scoreless vs the Padres this season. 11-pitch frame, 71 total after five.

6th: Everth Cabrera went down swinging at an 0-2 fastball. K no.9. Seth Smith grounded weakly to first. Carlos Quentin's groundout to third ended an 11-pitch, 1-2-3 sixth. 82 pitches total for Roark.

7th: Ryan Zimmerman showed off the range on a fly to left by Chase Headley. Yonder Alonso grounded out to first. A 92 mph 1-2 fastball got Will Venable swinging for out no.3 and K no.10. 10-pitch inning, 92 overall after seven scoreless.

8th: Rene Rivera lined the first pitch of the eight to left for a leadoff single. Roark got a double play grounder out Jace Peterson, but Espinosa bobble it and settled for a close play at second for the force. Pinch hitter Tommy Medica lined to left for a one-out single that put two runners on. A 92 mph 1-2 fastball got Everth Cabrera swinging for K no.11 on Roark's 102nd pitch. Seth Smith's pop to short left ended a 15-pitch inning. 107 pitches total in eight scoreless.

Tanner Roark's Line: 8.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 11 Ks, 107 P, 77 S, 10/4 GO/FO.

3. Ross vs the Nats: All three of 27-year-old right-hander Tyson Ross' career appearances against the Washington Nationals were relief appearances, all of which took place in 2013. The Oakland A's '08 2nd Round pick, acquired by the Padres in a four-player November 2012 trade, gave up a run on a home run by Bryce Harper in two innings of work in a May 16th game in Petco Park, then came back to throw two scoreless innings in the finale of that four-game set in San Diego.

In a July appearance out of the pen in the nation's capital, Ross gave up four hits, a walk and two earned runs in an 11-7 loss to the Nationals, leaving him with a 1.50 ERA in six innings on the mound against the Nats in his career before tonight.

Ross made his first start against Washington in the series opener in San Diego's Petco Park.

He took the mound in the top of the first with a (6-4) record on the year, a 2.85 ERA, 3.44 FIP, 29 walks (3.45 BB/9) and 70 Ks (8.33 K/9) in 12 starts and 75 2/3 IP so far in 2014.

Ross started the game with a leadoff walk to Denard Span and then promptly surrendered a two-run home run to left by Anthony Rendon, who took a 2-2 heater into the first row of the second deck for HR no.9 of 2014.

The Padres' starter got serious after Rendon's blast, setting 9 of the next 10 Nationals down and finishing three innings of work on 50 pitches after retiring the side in order in a 12-pitch third.

A seven-pitch, 1-2-3 fourth made it 10 straight retired and 12 of 13 batters set down after Rendon's home run. 57 pitches overall for Ross after four.

Danny Espinosa broke up Ross' streak of 10-straight batters set down with a leadoff, line drive triple to right in the top of the fifth, but the Padres' right-hander retired the next three batters in order without Espinosa coming in. The 13-pitch frame left him at 70 pitches total after five.

Ryan Zimmerman reached on an error and Adam LaRoche walked in back-to-back one-out at bats against Ross in the sixth and WIlson Ramos followed with an RBI ground-rule double to right that brought in the Nationals' third run of the game. 3-0. A walk to Ian Desmond loaded the bases for Danny Espinosa, who took a HBP on the back knee to force in the Nationals' fourth run, 4-0. Nate McLouth's two-run single in the next at bat made it 6-0 Nationals and ended Ross' night.

• Tyson Ross' Line: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 7 Ks, 99 P, 59 S, 8/0 GO/FO.

2. Road Trip: After taking five of the last six games on their eight-game homestand, the Nationals started a 10-game, three-city road trip tonight in the first game of three with the San Diego Padres in Petco Park. The three straight wins over the Philadelphia Phillies in the nation's capital left the Nationals two games above .500 at 30-28 on the year.

Nats' skipper Matt Williams was asked by a reporter on the Thursday if the trip out west would be a good test of the current state of the Nationals after they ended the homestand on a high note with the series sweep.

"Of course it's nice to go on the road with a series like this, of course," he said. "Is it a test? Well, we're playing a top-of-the-division team in San Francisco certainly. And the Padres played us tough here when they were here. And then we've got to go through St. Louis. So, is it a tough trip, yeah."

The Nats and Padres split their four-game set in Washington earlier this season, but the Nationals took the lead in the season series with tonight's 6-0 win and started the road trip off with their fourth straight curly-W.

1. The Wrap-Up: Kevin Quackenbush inherited a two-on, one-out jam when he took over for Tyson Ross in the sixth, but got the Padres out of the inning without further damage being done. Jason Lane threw a scoreless seventh for San Diego. Troy Patton threw a scoreless top of the ninth.

Ross Detwiler came on in the bottom of the inning and retired the Padres in order. Ballgame.

Nationals now 31-28

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