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Nationals take opener in Petco, 8-5 over Padres: Matt Adams keeps hitting home runs...

Matt Adams hit two home runs tonight, his 6th and 7th in the last seven games, and the Nationals took the series opener in Petco Park, 8-5.

Washington Nationals v San Diego Padres Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Matt Adams is on an absolute tear. His second home run of the game tonight in San Diego, CA was his 10th of 2018, his seventh in the last seven games, and eighth in the last eleven.

After hitting a two-run bomb in the sixth inning, Adams hit a three-run blast in the seventh to put the Nationals up 8-2 on the Padres in what ended up an 8-5 win in the series opener for Washington in Petco Park.

Stephen Strasburg started in his home town, tossing seven innings on 109 pitches, striking out five while inducing 10 ground ball outs from the 25 batters he faced, giving up three in another solid start.

Hometown kid: San Diego, California’s own Stephen Strasburg returned to his hometown tonight for his ninth career start against the Padres, against whom he was 6-2 with a 2.94 ERA before tonight, with a 2.84 ERA, five walks, 19 Ks, and a .176/.240/.309 line against in three starts and 19 innings on the mound in Petco Park.

Strasburg took the mound tonight with a 1-0 lead courtesy of a one-out solo home run by Trea Turner in the top of the first, and completed three scoreless on 41 pitches, but a nine-pitch at bat against Travis Jankowski in the bottom of the fourth ended with the Padres’ right fielder’s second hit of the night, and he stole second base, took third on a groundout, and scored on another ground ball out, 1-1.

After the Nationals took a 5-1 lead with a four-run sixth, Manuel Margot lined a 2-0 fastball to right to start the Padres’ half of the inning, took third base when Bryce Harper had trouble trying to corral it, and scored on a sac fly to make it a 5-2 game in the Nationals’ favor.

Washington Nationals v San Diego Padres Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

It was 8-2 when Strasburg gave up a leadoff double to center by Franchy Cordero in the bottom of the seventh, and two outs later, Cordero scored from third on a single up the middle by Jose Pirela, who hit a 3-1 slider to center to make it an 8-3 game.

Stephen Strasburg’s Line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 Ks, 109 P, 72 S, 10/2 GO/FO.

Joe’s Brother: Tyson Ross, Nationals’ starter Joe Ross’s older brother, returned to San Diego as a free agent this winter, after pitching for the Padres from 2013-16, putting up a 3.16 ERA over 522 innings in his first run with the team.

Back at home in Petco Park this season, Ross, 31, was 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in his two starts at home this season before tonight’s game with the Washington Nationals.

Ross, who dealt with injury issues that limited him to 13 starts over the last two seasons, was off to a good start in 2018, with a 3.28 ERA in 35 23 innings pitched over six outings.

He fell behind early in tonight’s series opener, however, when Trea Turner hit a 1-1 fastball to the left of center field for a one-out solo shot in the top of the first inning. Turner’s 3rd, 1-0.

It was 1-1 after five as the Padres rallied to tie it, but the Nationals scored four in the top of the sixth with Trea Turner walking and scoring on an Anthony Rendon double to left when Padres’ left fielder Franchy Cordero had issues in the corner, and Matt Adams hit a two-run home run to right on a 1-2 slider in the next at bat... before Howie Kendrick doubled to left and scored on an RBI single by Matt Wieters, 5-1.

Washington Nationals v San Diego Padres Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Tyson Ross’s Line: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 6 Ks, 2 HRs, 107 P, 74 S, 5/3 GO/FO.

Difference Maker: Trea Turner started the series with San Diego, the team that drafted and traded him to Washington, on a ten-game run over which he was 16 for 40 (.400 AVG) with three doubles, one home run, eight RBIs, three steals, seven walks, and eight runs scored, posting a .489 OBP and .550 SLG percentage in that stretch.

He got the series started with a one-out home run to center off Padres’ starter Tyson Ross, his third of the season, and after striking out the second time up in the third, he walked to start the sixth, and scored from first on an Anthony Rendon double to left field for the first run in a four-run frame.

Adams Again: Matt Adams, who got the start at first tonight with Ryan Zimmerman once again out of the lineup (stiff side), came into the series with the Padres on a 14 for 34 (.412 AVG) run over his last ten games with a double, six homers, 14 RBIs, five walks, and 11 runs scored in that stretch.

Adams walked with two down in his first plate appearance, sent a fly to left for an out the second time up, then launched a 1-2 slider from Tyson Ross to right in his third trip to the plate in the sixth, sending his 9th of the season and seventh in the last 11 games into the seats for a two-run blast as part of a four-run inning.

Adams stepped in against Padres’ lefty Matt Strahm in the seventh with two on and one out and hit a 1-0 curve over the right field wall for a three-run blast that made it 8-2. It was No. 10 in 2018, his seventh in the last seven, and 8th in the last 11 games.

BULLPEN ACTION: Matt Adams hit a three-run blast off lefty Matt Strahm in the seventh, to make it an 8-2 Nationals’ lead.

Trevor Gott hit one batter and walked another to start the Padres’ eighth, then struck out both Travis Jankowski and Eric Hosmer before Trea Turner made a diving play and toss to second for a force that ended a 20-pitch frame.

Phil Maton tossed a scoreless top of the ninth for the Padres, and Carlos Torres gave up a leadoff walk, one and two-out singles, and two runs before he got it done, 8-5. Ballgame.

Final Score: 8-5 Nationals

Nationals now 19-17