WASHINGTON -- The Nationals and Padres found themselves in a slugfest on Sunday afternoon at Nationals Park. When it was over, the Padres outslugged the Nationals, 10-6.Tied 6-6 after eight innings, the Padres scored four runs in the ninth off Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon. Yangervis Solarte broke the tie with
WASHINGTON -- The Nationals and Padres found themselves in a slugfest on Sunday afternoon at Nationals Park. When it was over, the Padres outslugged the Nationals, 10-6.
Tied 6-6 after eight innings, the Padres scored four runs in the ninth off Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon. Yangervis Solarte broke the tie with an RBI single, and Alexei Ramirez broke the game open with a three-run double.
"I think it was about location," Papelbon said. "You are coming in a situation where we have to preserve everything you can. Every pitch matters in that situation. I'm one pitch away from getting out of that. It boils down to missed location on Solarte. He was able to get the barrel on the ball."
Padres left-hander Christian Friedrich and Nationals right-hander Lucas Giolito, the top prospect in baseball, started the game and neither was able to get past the fourth.
Giolito retired the first six hitters he faced, but the Padres took a 3-1 lead in the third, highlighted by Wil Myers' bases-loaded single. After the game, Giolito was optioned back to Triple-A Syracuse along with outfielder Michael Taylor.
Wilson Ramos and Daniel Murphy had three hits each and combined for five RBIs. Ramos hit his 14th home run in a four-run third inning -- a 455-foot shot, according to Statcast™ -- which gave the Nats a 5-3 lead. Ramos' RBI single in the fifth made it 6-3, but the Padres responded with seven unanswered runs.
Alex Dickerson and Ryan Schimpf hit back-to-back homers off Shawn Kelley to tie the game before the four-run ninth.
"To see the guys battle back like that after a very short outing from our starter," said Padres manager Andy Green, "and the bullpen comes out for six innings and gives up one run, it was a borderline dominant effort from them which was great to see. Schimpf continues to drive the ball, Dickerson, those were big hits, those homers off Kelly. All the way across, almost everyone had a significant contribution and those are fun games to win."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Friedrich's struggles continue: Friedrich entered Sunday's game having lost each of his previous four starts and the left-hander didn't do enough against the Nationals to snap the skid. In his 13th start of the season, Friedrich threw a season-low three innings, allowing six hits and five runs with one walk and one wild pitch. It marked the sixth time in his last seven outings that Friedrich has allowed at least four runs.
Kelley blows lead: After Giolito left the game, three relievers -- Matt Belisle, Oliver Pérez, Blake Treinen -- came on to shut down the Padres for 3 2/3 innings. But Kelley gave up the lead in the eighth. It's just the third time in his career (331 games), Kelley has allowed two home runs in an outing.
"I threw two pitches that weren't up enough," Kelley said. "Both balls were in the corners in the right direction. I just wanted a few balls higher. I just didn't get them there."
Padres extend streak: Dickerson's solo blast in the eighth extended the Padres' franchise-record streak to 22 consecutive games with a home run. The streak is tied for the longest in the Majors this season (the Red Sox homered in 22 straight games), and is the longest by a National League team since the Atlanta Braves homered in 23 straight in 2006.
Schimpf does it again: Schimpf pulled the Padres even with a solo home run of his own, giving the Padres back-to-back homers for the sixth time this season. The 28-year-old homered for the ninth time in July, setting a new franchise rookie record for the most homers in a single calendar month (Jedd Gyorko held the previous San Diego rookie record with eight homers in August 2013). Of Schimpf's first 21 career big-league hits, 16 have been for extra bases. More >
"It's no small thing. Honestly, it's borderline embarrassing when things like that happen on a baseball field. Not on him or on any person in particular, but we're better than that. That's unacceptable at any level." -- Padres manager Andy Green, on Derek Norris' baserunning blunder when he was caught stealing with the bases loaded and one out
"There has been more than enough times our starting pitching has bailed out our offense. Today didn't work out for us. You have to give all the credit in the world to the San Diego Padres. They had a lot of fight in them. They kept coming, they kept punching, they played a good ballgame today." -- Murphy, on the loss
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
With Schimpf's nine home runs coming in 87 career at-bats, he is the second Padre to hit nine homers within his first 100 career Major League at-bats, and the first to do so in the same season. Per STATS, Dave Stanton homered nine times in his first 100 career at-bats, which were spread over the 1993 and 1994 seasons.
Padres: The Padres head north of the border for the first time since 2004, and make their first-ever trip to Toronto as they begin a three-game series against the Blue Jays Monday at 4:07 p.m. PT. Colin Rea (5-4, 5.01 ERA) looks to rebound after allowing eight hits and four runs in six innings in a 4-2 loss in St. Louis July 20.
Nationals: The Nationals have the day off on Monday, but travel to Cleveland to begin a two-game series against the Indians at 7:10 p.m. ET. Left-hander Gio Gonzalez will pitch the first game. In his last start against the Dodgers, Gonzalez got off to a slow start, but managed to go six innings and allow one run on three hits.
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Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He can also be found on Twitter @WashingNats.
Ben Raby is a contributor to MLB.com. He covered the Padres on Sunday.