WASHINGTON -- During the past week, Matt Kemp has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball. He launched a pair of homers and drove in four runs Friday night at Nationals Park to help lead the Padres to a 5-3 victory over the Nationals, who have lost four of
WASHINGTON -- During the past week, Matt Kemp has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball. He launched a pair of homers and drove in four runs Friday night at Nationals Park to help lead the Padres to a 5-3 victory over the Nationals, who have lost four of their last five.
Kemp got the Padres on the board with a solo homer in the first inning off right-hander Tanner Roark, and increased San Diego's streak of consecutive games with a homer to 20, extending a franchise record. It was the first homer Roark had surrendered since June 21, a streak of 32 innings.
"He left a couple of them up in there in the zone," Kemp said. "I don't think he meant to put them up there. I just put a good swing on them."
The Nationals took the lead in the bottom of the first after a solo homer by Jayson Werth and a run-scoring single from Wilson Ramos. But Padres right-hander Luis Perdomo rebounded after that two-run first to shut the Nationals down the rest of the way and lasted a career-high seven innings.
"That's a tough offense that he just navigated," Padres manager Andy Green said of his starter. "You can tell by the swings they take that it's an uncomfortable at-bat. It's not something guys want to face. It's plus stuff."
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Kemp struck again in the fifth. Roark allowed a run-scoring single to Melvin Upton Jr., followed by a walk to Ryan Schimpf before Kemp hammered a 2-1 fastball for a three-run homer. Roark allowed five runs on six hits in five innings, his shortest start since June 5.
"I've said it before and I'll say it again, you leave those pitches there then they're going to go far, and that's what happened tonight," Roark said. "Didn't have my best stuff by any means tonight. I stunk."
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Daniel Murphy hit his 19th home run in the eighth to cut into the Padres' lead, but Brandon Maurer got the final four outs for his fourth save.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Kemp puts Padres in front: When Kemp stepped to the plate with two men on base in the fifth, he had already put his team ahead once. Now, with the score tied at 2, the veteran outfielder gave the Padres the lead once more, blasting a 2-1 pitch from Roark to left field to make it 5-2. The home run was Kemp's 22nd of the season and his sixth in as many games. It also gave him his ninth career multi-homer game -- and second of the season.
"I really never try to just hit home runs," Kemp said. "When they make mistakes, put good swings on them, and whatever happens happens." More >
Rare short outing for Roark: Roark has been one of the Nationals' most consistent pitchers, so short outings such as Friday night have become unusual. He had lasted at least seven innings in five consecutive starts before the Padres chased him after five innings. Roark had not surrendered more than one home run in any start this season before Kemp homered twice.
"I wasn't getting ahead of hitters," Roark said. "I wasn't making great pitches with my off speed and stuff like that. They get ahead in the count and they feel comfortable up in there. That's on me and that's a poor job on my part."
Career day for Perdomo: Perdomo entered Friday with a 7.36 ERA, but held the Nationals to four hits and two runs over seven innings. It was the rookie's first career outing of seven or more innings and matches the fewest runs he has allowed in one start.
Perdomo had his sinker working Friday, as he induced 13 ground balls, but also found success with a changeup he said he has worked on recently.
Green said Perdomo's improvement has been "exponential" since his early-season struggles.
"I'm proud of the kid," Green said. "Every single time out he's featuring not necessarily a new pitch that he doesn't have before, but a more effective version of that pitch from the work he does in between." More >
Werth extends on-base streak: After his solo home run in the first, Werth has now reached base in 26 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the Majors, with a .393 on-base percentage during that time. After initially beginning the season hitting lower in the Nationals' lineup, Werth has become a strength in the second spot.
"At this stage of the game, almost two-thirds of the season gone, we've got to make some changes. We've been waiting and waiting and waiting, and it's getting frustrating on the guys and frustrating on fans and frustrating to us, too. You had to be patient and you hope that we make some changes and some theories and philosophies and getting a good pitch to hit. The only thing you can do is hit it hard. A lot of times, you're not getting a pitch to hit." -- Nationals manager Dusty Baker, on the club's lack of clutch hitting More >
Padres: San Diego will send Edwin Jackson to the mound Saturday in the second game of this three-game set against the Nationals at 4:05 p.m. PT. Jackson carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning in his first start for the Padres on Sunday before allowing a two-run home run. He pitched for the Nationals in 2012, and has a 3.26 career ERA at Nationals Park.
Nationals:Max Scherzer will take the mound for Washington on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. ET. He has been dominant since June 1, posting a 1.61 ERA with 81 strikeouts in 61 1/3 innings. He held the Padres to one run in six innings at Petco Park last month.
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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 based in Washington. He covered the Padres on Friday