Washington experienced another scorcher Wednesday night at Nationals Park recording the second hottest starting temperature in the park’s history only second to Tuesday night’s game. But the 13,762 who stuck it out saw J.D. Martin get his first win of the season.
Martin secured a one-run win over the top team in the National League so far this season, beating the San Diego Padres 7-6.
One of the Nationals weaknesses this season, and particularly in the past month, has been an inability to score runs behind their starters and play solid defense to support their entire pitching staff. Tonight they did both.
After giving up a solo shot to Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, Washington strung together a strong offensive first in which San Diego starter Jon Garland saw Riggleman’s entire line up.
Ryan Zimmerman continued to prove himself worthy of landing a spot on the Final Vote fan ballot for the 2010 All-Star Game with an RBI single to start the rally. Then the man of the evening stepped up to bat.
Adam Dunn secured a spot in Nationals franchise history completing the first three homerun game at Nationals Park by any player, which is the second time in the team’s short history dating back to 2005 and his first. The last Nationals bat to hit three homeruns in one game was outfielder Alfonso Soriano on April 21, 2006 at RFK Stadium against the Atlanta Braves.
Dunn’s first homer came in the first putting the Nats and Martin ahead 4-1.
“You know it was a great performance any time a guy hits a couple home runs much less three that’s a big night,” Manager Jim Riggleman said after the game. “He’s been really coming through for us big time for a month now. He’s really been swinging great.”
Dunn wasn’t the only man rewriting the history books. Padres pinch hitter Matt Stairs hit his twentieth career pinch hit homerun off Matt Capps in the bottom of the ninth to match the all-time Major League record in pinch hit homeruns.
The Nationals lone 2010 All-Star proved himself worthy once again by escaping a bind in the ninth. Capps gave up the Stairs pinch hit homer and a couple singles but battled on to record his 23 save of the season closing out a hot and historic game at Nationals Park.
Note: All-Star voting for Ryan Zimmerman will end Thursday at 4 p.m. There’s still time to get those last minute votes in at MLB.com,so if you want more than one National represented in Anaheim it’s time to hit those polls.