WASHINGTON -- Stephen Drew had been battling an illness that prevented him from taking an at-bat since Sunday before he roped a walk-off, pinch-hit triple in the ninth inning to lead the Nationals to a 3-2 victory over the Padres on Saturday night at Nationals Park.It capped off a week
WASHINGTON -- Stephen Drew had been battling an illness that prevented him from taking an at-bat since Sunday before he roped a walk-off, pinch-hit triple in the ninth inning to lead the Nationals to a 3-2 victory over the Padres on Saturday night at Nationals Park.
It capped off a week where Drew dropped at least seven pounds and received IV fluids earlier in the day Saturday before coming through with Washington's sixth walk-off hit of the season off Padres right-hander Kevin Quackenbush.
"It's been crazy. I don't want to say it on TV, but it's been ugly," Drew said, sitting down at his locker postgame still dealing with the illness. "Anywhere from high fever to everything else, you name it. It's been crazy."
Drew helped catapult the Nationals to a victory after getting another dominant performance from right-hander Max Scherzer, who allowed two runs on four hits and struck out 10 in seven innings. His lone blemish came in the second inning, when he allowed a two-run homer to Ryan Schimpf to give the Padres a 2-0 lead. His homer extended the Padres' streak to 21 consecutive games with a home run, already a club record. It's the longest streak by a National League team since the 2006 Braves homered in 23 straight.
But after the homer, Scherzer retired 17 of his final 19 batters.
"I also wasn't going to let that mistake define my outing," Scherzer said. "I went out there and gave the team what it needed and went seven strong innings. That's what I take a lot of pride in: No walks, going out there and competing all the way into the seventh."
Before the game, Nationals manager Dusty Baker spoke about the team needing Ben Revere to start producing at the top of their order and he did in this game. He walked and scored on a sacrifice fly by Daniel Murphy in the third inning. Then Revere roped a run-scoring double into the right field corner in the fifth. That was all Padres right-hander Edwin Jackson allowed, however, in six innings to produce his second consecutive quality start.
"He was good," manager Andy Green said of his pitcher. "He gave us an opportunity to win the baseball game. He was going up against Max Scherzer, he goes toe-to-toe with him for six strong innings. I don't think you can ask for much more than that."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Sick Drew comes through: Drew did not want to get into the details of how he has felt this past week. The Nationals had sent him home from the ballpark a few times. He had not taken part in any baseball activity, and until Saturday had rarely even been seen on the bench. Yet, after hitting in the batting cage during the game Drew told the coaching staff he was available for this game and came through with a clutch hit.
"He was pale white. I could tell he wasn't feeling good," Revere said about Drew. "I mean, everybody's been there. A little bug and you can't eat nothing for days and just lose a bunch of weight. But what he did today was definitely big for us. We needed that win to get back on our feet." More >
Schimpf extends record: The Padres' streak-extending home run was not a cheapie. In the second inning, Schimpf crushed a Scherzer fastball off the upper-deck facade in right field. The home run was Schimpf's eighth in July, making him only the second San Diego rookie ever to hit that many in a calendar month (along with Jedd Gyorko in August 2013).
"[Scherzer's] fastball's good, so I was just trying to get geared up for a good pitch to drive," said Schimpf, who downplayed the significance of the home-run streak. "I got a good pitch and put a good swing on it." More >
Swinging strikeouts for Scherzer: Scherzer turned in another strong outing as all 10 of his strikeouts were swinging. Scherzer's 44th career game with at least 10 strikeouts continued a dominant run for Scherzer since June 1, where he has posted a 1.71 ERA with 91 strikeouts and 13 walks. It was his eighth double-digit strikeout game of the season, which is tied with his teammate Stephen Strasburg for the second most double-digit strikeout games in the Majors, behind only Clayton Kershaw (nine).
Jackson strong again: When Jackson arrived in San Diego this month after being released by the Marlins, he hadn't even started a game since 2014. But two games into his Padres career, the veteran righty has looked like a new pitcher. After taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning in his first start with his new team, he threw another quality start Saturday, allowing six hits and two runs in six strong innings. It was the first time since July 2013 he managed back-to-back starts of six or more innings and two or fewer earned runs.
"I'm just trying to stay consistent," Jackson said. "When I got DFA'd from Miami, I had only pitched 10 innings, so I really hadn't even gotten the season started yet."
Padres: The Padres will start lefty Christian Friedrich on Sunday in the finale of this three-game series at 9:35 a.m. PT. Friedrich has allowed three runs or more in each of his past six starts and has struggled in his career against the Nationals, with a 12.00 ERA in five outings.
Nationals:Lucas Giolito, baseball's No.1 prospect, will be promoted from Triple-A for his third career start on Sunday. He has allowed four runs in his first 7 2/3 innings in the Majors this year with five strikeouts and six walks. First pitch is set for 12:35 p.m. ET.
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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.
Alex Putterman is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Padres on Saturday