courtesy of MudflapDC
The Washington Nationals squeaked past the San Diego Padres with a 5-4 win on Saturday evening. Their line-up continued to work with the changes made this week but it took them a bit longer to tally up their run count when compared to the past few days.
Outfielder Bryce Harper finally snapped his 0-for-19 hitless streak and had three RBIs in the game. Harper’s first RBI came in the third inning when he was walked by former Nat and San Diego starting pitcher Jason Marquis allowing catcher Kurt Suzuki to score making it a 1-0 ballgame.
Washington maintained their lead by scoring on a lead-off solo homerun hit by Adam LaRoche off Marquis in the fourth inning and Span scoring off a RBI-single hit by Harper in the fifth inning. But San Diego managed to tie the game up after being down 3-1 to start the sixth inning on a three-run homer hit by Padres first baseman Jesus Guzman off right-handed reliever Ross Ohlendorf.
With right-handed starter Jordan Zimmermann out of the game after pitching 5 and 1/3 innings and giving up five hits, three runs, one walk, and striking out four on 110 pitches (73 strikes), it was once again up to the Nats’ bullpen to hold on and the offense to keep Washington in line for a win.
Ohlendorf vultured a win, his second this season, off the scenario despite giving up the three-run homerun that diminished Washington’s lead, thanks to the Nats regaining the lead in the seventh inning. Outfielder Denard Span scored on Harper’s sacrifice fly hit to left field and shortstop Ian Desmond scored off a single hit by third baseman Ryan Zimmerman before Zimmerman was caught at second base on a 9-2-4 putout play.
Relievers Drew Storen and Rafael Soriano closed out the day, pitching the eighth and ninth innings respectively. Storen, who’s been struggling in his past few appearances, made five pitches in his appearance and did not allow the Padres to hit anything past the infield while striking out Guzman.
Soriano’s appearance made things interesting, or at least that’s what manager Davey Johnson described it as being after the game. After getting the first out, Soriano gave up back-to-back singles before finally getting the last two outs needed to secure the Nats’ 5-4 win.
Washington is now three games above .500 and is officially sending two players to the 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field in New York. Harper, who will be making his second All-Star Game appearance, was selected to start in the outfield. He is now the youngest National League player to be selected as an All-Star starter and is the youngest all-star since Ken Griffey Jr. in 1990. He is also the first Nationals player to be selected to multiple All-Star Games.
Zimmermann will also be joining Harper at Citi Field as part of the National League pitching staff. And, while he was not officially selected, shortstop Ian Desmond is up for the final fan vote along with four other National League position players and could still be voted into the game.