Padres score 4 in 9th to take series from Nationals
WASHINGTON (AP) — The San Diego Padres’ three-city road trip didn’t begin well. Earning their first series victory against the Washington Nationals since 2011 is helping to turn it around.
Alex Dickerson and Ryan Schimpf hit back-to-back homers off Shawn Kelley in the eighth inning and the Padres added four runs off Jonathan Papelbon in the ninth to beat the Nationals 10-6 on Sunday.
“We’ve been on the road for a little bit, and it’s definitely good to come here against a team like this and get two wins out of it,” said Schimpf, whose team suffered a four-game sweep in St. Louis before winning two of three in Washington.
Ryan Buchter (2-0) pitched a scoreless eighth to earn the victory.
With the game tied at 6, Wil Myers drew a one-out walk off Papelbon and moved to second on a wild pitch before Yangervis Solarte’s RBI single. The Padres added two more singles to load the bases, setting up Alexei Ramirez’s three-run double.
Nationals manager Dusty Baker then relieved Papelbon (2-3), who was booed after giving up his first runs since June 12.
“Not to make excuses, I don’t like to use my closer three days in a row and this is three days in a row for Pap,” Baker said. “But we didn’t have a choice. The ball wasn’t coming out today the way it had been since he came back from the injury.”
Papelbon, who hadn’t pitched on three consecutive days since May 29-31, insisted he was not tired.
“I think just location,” Papelbon said. “Coming in there, a situation where we’ve got to preserve everything we can, and every pitch matters in that situation. One pitch away from getting out of that. Boiled down to missed location on Solarte and he was able to just get enough barrel on the ball to have that one drop right in front of (outfielder Michael A.) Taylor.”
The Nationals led 6-4 before Kelley, who entered to start the eighth, yielded consecutive home runs. It was the ninth home run in July for Schimpf, a Padres’ record for a rookie in a calendar month. San Diego also extended a franchise record with its 22nd consecutive game with a home run.
“Everyone played their part today and everyone came through,” Ramirez said. “The eighth inning was just as important as the ninth tying it and it allowed us to keep fighting in the game.”
Washington recalled top prospect Lucas Giolito before the game. The right-hander, making his third career start, gave up four runs and four hits in 3 1/3 innings, then was optioned back to Triple-A Syracuse along with Taylor after the loss.
San Diego start Christian Friedrich gave up five runs and six hits in 3 innings. The Padres’ bullpen combined to allow three hits and a walk in 6 innings.
“You get a short outing from your starter and he didn’t quite have his stuff today, and the bullpen comes up with six innings and gives up one run,” Padres manager Andy Green said. “It was a borderline-dominant effort from them.”
San Diego’s fourth-inning rally was halted when Washington catcher Wilson Ramos picked Derek Norris off first base with the bases loaded and one out. Norris established a big lead with the shift on, but first baseman Daniel Murphy snuck in behind him to take Ramos’ throw.
“It’s no small thing, and honestly, it’s borderline embarrassing when things like that happen on a baseball field,” Green said. “It’s not on him or any person in particular, but we’re better than that.”
Washington optioned RHP Koda Glover to Triple-A Syracuse. Glover pitched two scoreless innings for the Nationals last week in his first major league action.
Padres: OF Melvin Upton Jr., a possible trade deadline target for contending teams, was not in the lineup. “I think there’s a lot swirling around him right now, and it just felt like the right time to put him down and let him have a day of rest,” Green said.
Nationals: The team said RHP Aaron Barrett, who underwent Tommy John surgery in September, suffered a right elbow fracture Friday and will have surgery Monday.
Padres: San Diego begins the final stop on a 10-game road trip when it opens a three-game series against Toronto on Monday. Colin Rea (5-4, 5.01) faces the Blue Jays for the first time.
Nationals: Gio Gonzalez (6-8, 4.53) starts Tuesday at Cleveland as Washington begins a nine-game road trip after playing 15 of its last 19 at home.