Pair of homers not enough to harness Padres

Harrison hits 3-run shot and Soto adds 10th long ball to back Fedde in return

July 7th, 2021

SAN DIEGO -- did it in the fifth inning. followed suit in the sixth.

In spite of the Nationals knocking the ball out of Petco Park twice on Tuesday, their offensive spurts could not top those of the Padres in a 7-4 loss. The Nats are now 20-8 when hitting two or more home runs.

“Sometimes the other team gets the best of you,” manager Dave Martinez said of the stat-defying result. 

Homering for the first time since hitting a grand slam against the Orioles on May 22, Harrison sent a game-tying, three-run blast a Statcast-projected 409 feet to center field at 104.7 mph off a 3-0 count against starter Ryan Weathers. 

“It definitely felt good,” Harrison said. “I wish we would have won, though. I’d trade that for a win.” 

Soto ended Weathers’ evening five batters later when he connected on his 10th home run of the season -- a 388-foot dinger that exited left-center field at 107.1 mph. Petco Park marks the 20th Major League ballpark in which Soto has homered in his young, four-year career.

While the Nationals outhomered the Padres, 2-1, the home team spoiled Erick Fedde’s return from the injured list. After being sidelined by a left oblique strain, Fedde allowed six runs off eight hits (including a fourth-inning, three-run homer to Wil Myers) with one walk and two strikeouts across 4 1/3 frames. It was his first appearance facing hitters since his last start on June 23. He had hoped to reach at least five innings after exceeding 50 pitches in a recent bullpen session.

Following an impressive stretch of 21 consecutive scoreless innings, Fedde has given up a total of 11 runs in his last two starts.

“I liked my stuff early,” Fedde said. “Just, the pitch to Myers, I tried to throw a sinker and it cut on me kind of into his happy zone, unfortunately. But other than that, I was pretty happy. Just some tough luck and unfortunately some big hits with guys on base.”

Tuesday marked the second game in a row in which the Nationals’ bats tried to carry a shortened start. In the series opener on Monday, Trea Turner and Josh Bell homered to power the Nats to a 7-5 win over the Padres in Jon Lester’s 3 1/3-inning outing.

Martinez noted the bullpen was short on options after being called upon at a high frequency as of late. Among relievers, Wander Suero was unavailable on Tuesday, Austin Voth warmed up twice during Tuesday’s game and his availability for Wednesday is uncertain and Sam Clay’s availability is in question after pitching back-to-back nights. Patrick Corbin is slated to take the mound on Wednesday, followed by Max Scherzer on Thursday to finish off this four-game series.

“We want to give our pitchers run support, regardless of if it’s their first start back from rehab or if they’ve been going every fifth day,” Harrison said. “At the same time, when you haven’t been out there in a while, sometimes you want to be able to give a lead. But unfortunately, we didn’t.”