WP – G. Gonzalez (6-3) LP – A. Cashner
S – R. Soriano (23)
The Washington Nationals had a great team effort tonight to beat the San Diego Padres 8 to 5. Gio Gonzalez pitched six and two thirds, giving up three earned runs on eight hits with five strikeouts. He seemed to have trouble early on controlling his pitches but he settled down and gave the Nationals another solid performance. The Nationals’ hitters were able to get to the Padres starter early and often, led by Jayson Werth and Wilson Ramos. Werth went 3-for-4 with one RBI, while Ramos went 2-for-4 with three RBI’s. Denard Span continued to improve on his numbers, going 2-for-5 and two RBI’s as well.
The Padres were led by Carlos Quentin, who hit a three run homerun off of Craig Stammen in the top of the seventh, who gave up two runs and allowed an inherited runner to score on the homerun. The Padres also got runs in the first and third. In the first inning, Chase Headley hit a ground rule double off Gonzalez, scoring Chris Denorfia. In the third, Headley homered to deep left field.
Bryce Harper continued to struggle, going 0-for-4, with a sacrifice fly RBI in the second inning. Davey Johnson after the game discussed how he will likely give Harper the next couple games off to clear his head, as he is 1-for-18, with a homerun and two RBI’s since returning from the disabled list on July 1st.
The Nationals were well below their season average on strikeouts with only three on the night, so this helped to move runners around. The Nationals have improved their team batting average from .232 to .238 over the last six games with their recent hitting improvement.
The Nationals improve to 44-42, and 39-10 in games where they score at least three runs.
Robert Peterson lives in the Washington DC Metro area and has been covering the Nationals since the team moved to the area in 2005.