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Washington Nationals shut out in series finale with San Diego Padres, 6-0

Davey Martinez’s club dropped 2 of 3 in the series with the Padres in Nationals Park.

MLB: San Diego Padres at Washington Nationals Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Espino vs San Diego:

Paolo Espino gave up just one run on six hits in his start against Chicago’s Cubs in Wrigley Field earlier this week, but Espino received no decision in what ended up a 6-5 loss, so he remained winless after 11 starts this season, with a 5.14 ERA, 5.96 FIP, and a .300/.332/.560 line against in 49 innings pitched since he moved into the rotation back in mid-June.

“I definitely feel good that everything was working out from the beginning,” Espino said, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, after facing the Cubbies.

“I think I did a good job keeping the team fighting for that win.”

This afternoon, in the series finale with San Diego’s Padres, Espino tossed a scoreless first, working around a leadoff single, but a one-out walk to Jake Cronenworth in the top of the second came back to bite him, with Wil Myers doubling to left field to drive in the first run of the game for either team an out later, 1-0.

A leadoff walk to Jurickson Profar in the third, a single up the middle by Juan Soto, and an RBI single by Manny Machado added to the Padres’ lead, 2-0, and 3-0 on an RBI grounder by Brandon Drury which brought Soto in from third.

Espino got through five with the three runs allowed, with a diving catch by Victor Robles in center for out No. 3 of a 10-pitch fifth, which left the starter at 95 total for the day.

Espino returned to the mound in the sixth and retired two batters before Trent Grisham hit a fly to deep center Robles lost in the sun, gifting Grisham a double, and an RBI single by Wil Myers in the next at-bat made it 4-0 Padres and ended Espino’s outing...

Paolo Espino’s Line: 5.2 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 Ks, 109 P, 70 S, 9/2 GO/FO.

Snell vs the Nationals:

Acquired from Tampa Bay in advance of the 2021 campaign, Blake Snell dealt with a left abductor issue last year, in his first season in San Diego, and again early in his second year with the Padres.

But after going (0-5) with a 5.60 ERA, a 3.77 FIP, and a .239/.333/.366 line against between May 18-June 25, the southpaw was (4-1) over seven outings with a 2.41 ERA, a 2.48 FIP, and a .213/.295/.331 line against in his last seven starts and 37 13 IP before today’s outing against Washington.

Snell allowed one earned run or fewer in six of his last seven starts, including a 5 23-inning, 103-pitch outing against the Giants last time out before today, in which he gave up six hits, one run, and two walks, while striking out eight in a 1-0 loss in which he took the L for the first time since June 25th.

The Padres’ lefty was efficient through four scoreless this afternoon, striking out seven of 14 batters faced on 63 pitches, while giving up just two hits as San Diego got out to a 3-0 lead.

It was 4-0 when Snell returned to the mound in the sixth and stranded a two-out single, by Joey Meneses, in a 24-pitch frame which left him at 103 total...

Blake Snell’s Line: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 10 Ks, 103 P, 67 S, 3/3 GO/FO.

Bullpen Action:

Victor Arano took over for the Nationals with two out in the sixth and got final out with one pitch, stranding an inherited runner. He needed 14 pitches in a quick top of the seventh, as he worked around a one-out walk to Juan Soto.

César Hernández singled off of reliever Nick Martinez with one out in the Nats’ seventh, and Maikel Franco reached on an error by Manny Machado, but the Padres’ reliever got a 4-6-3 double play to end the home-half of the frame. Still 4-0 San Diego.

Jake McGee retired the Padres in order in a quick, 12-pitch eighth, in which he picked up two Ks.

Martinez gave up back-to-back singles to start the Nats’ eighth, but got a double play and a groundout to keep the Padres’ shutout going.

Tyler Clippard hit Jorge Alfaro in the head after Wil Myers reached base on a bunt back to the mound, and a two-out walk to Juan Soto loaded the bases before Manny Machado hit one out to third Maikel Franco fielded before throwing one way wide of second base for a two-run error which made it 6-0 Padres.

Nationals now 38-78