San Diego scored an unearned run early with Gio Gonzalez on the mound in Petco Park, but Washington’s southpaw kept the Padres off the board after that, as the Nationals rallied for two in the fifth and a 3-1 advantage in what ended up a 4-1 win, their third in the four-game series.
Gonzalez scored the Nationals’ first run of the game, walking, taking third on a double by Wilmer Difo, and scoring on a Daniel Murphy sac fly.
Murphy drove in the go-ahead run with an RBI single in the fifth inning before Adam Lind doubled to drive him in and make it a two-run lead after four and a half.
Howie Kendrick beat out a potential DP grounder with the bases loaded in the eighth, and the Nationals went ahead by three.
Nationals now 74-48
HERE’S HOW IT HAPPENED:
• Gio Gonzalez gave up a pair of one-out singles in the Padres’ half of the first, but got a fly to right field for out No. 2 and a grounder to short that should have ended the early threat, but Wilmer Difo rushed the throw and fired it wide of first on a Wil Myers’ grounder, allowing the first run of the game to score, 1-0. E:6.
• Gonzalez worked around a two-out error in the second as well. Today’s right fielder Alejandro De Aza missed a fly to right, battling the early afternoon sun in San Diego, and, in spite of a last second adjustment, missing the ball. With two on, and two out, Gonzalez got another fly to right for the final out of the inning. De Aza caught the second one.
Ch-ch-changes. pic.twitter.com/2sEDyEezBJ— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 20, 2017
• Padres’ righty Dinelson Lamet walked Gio Gonzalez to start the top of the third, which rarely, if ever, comes back to haunt a pitcher, but this time it did with Gonzalez taking third on a double to left-center by Wilmer Difo before scoring on a sac fly to left field by Daniel Murphy to tie it up at 1-1.
• Lamet’s sixth walk of the game loaded the bases in front of Anthony Rendon with one out in the Nationals’ third. Rendon worked the count full, after starting behind Lamet, 0-2, but went down swinging at a high 3-2 slider to leave’em loaded.
• Alejandro De Aza bunted his way on, and stole second in the fifth, then scored one out later on a line drive single to right field by Daniel Murphy, who took second base on the throw home after putting the Nationals ahead, 2-1.
Safe!— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 20, 2017
Also safe! pic.twitter.com/ZtNrJ36eG3
• Murphy scored after the Padres went to the pen, replacing Lamet with righty Buddy Baumann, who gave up an RBI double to left on an 0-1 slider to Adam Lind, 3-1.
• Dinelson Lamet’s Line: 4.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 6 BB, 8 Ks, 94 P, 52 S, 3/1 GO/FO.
• Gio Gonzalez worked around a leadoff walk in a 19-pitch fifth, then hit for himself in the top of the sixth even though he was up to 97 pitches, and came back out with a quick, eight-pitch, 1-2-3 frame that left him at 105 after six.
• Dusty Baker sent Gonzalez back out for the seventh, and he added two Ks before a two-out single by Manuel Margot ended his outing after 121 pitches.
• Gio Gonzalez’s Line: 6.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 Ks, 121 P, 74 S, 6/7 GO/FO.
• Joe Blanton took over with one on and two out in the Padres’ seventh and got a swinging K with an 0-2 fastball to Jabari Bash.
• Phil Maton was the fifth Padres’ pitcher to take the mound (after Lamet, Baumann, Craig Stammen, and Jose Torres). Maton walked two batters, but almost got an inning-ending double play on a grounder back to the mound by Michael A. Taylor, but the Padres had both of their middle infielders at second base when he turned to throw it, and neither of them caught the ball.
With the bases loaded and one out, Howie Kendrick beat out another potential double play, and the Nationals’ fourth run of the game came in, 4-1.
• Brandon Kintzler took the mound in the eighth and got an inning-ending double play after a runner reached on an error by Ryan Zimmerman.
• Sean Doolittle came out for the ninth and retired the Padres in order, striking out the side in a 15-pitch frame. Ballgame.
Final Score: 4-1 Nationals.
NATIONALS PREGAME NOTES:
- Washington’s wins in two of the first three games in San Diego left them with a 38-44 record against the Padres in the all-time series between the two teams, and the Nats are now 24-15 against the Padres since 2012.
- After last night’s loss, the Nationals are now 38-23 on the road this season, good for the third-best road record in the majors and the second-best road record in the NL.
- Washington’s starters have a combined 2.17 ERA in their last ten starts and 62 1⁄3 IP, good for the lowest ERA in the National League over that stretch.
- Nationals’ starters began the day with the NL’s lowest BAA (.229), and the second-lowest opponents’ OBP (.298), opponents’ slugging percentage (.385), second-most Ks (757), and second-lowest combined ERA (3.56).
- In today’s Nationals-themed “Fun with Arbitrary End Points” segment: Washington’s relievers lead the majors with a 1.64 ERA and a .141 BAA... in the 11 games since August 6th.
- Padres’ relievers have held the Nationals to a .082 AVG (4 for 49) in the last five games between the two teams.
- Washington’s offense leads the NL in SLG (.465), OPS (.802), and extra-base hits (435), and they rank second in the National League in AVG (.272), runs scored (463), and OBP (.337), and they’re ranked third in home runs (178).
- Padres’ starter Dinelson Lamet took the mound with wins in four of his last five starts, a 2.37 ERA, and 30 Ks in 30 1⁄3 IP over that stretch.
- Gio Gonzalez started the days (2-2) with a 4.30 ERA in five career starts against San Diego.
Nationals now 74-48