Aug 27, 2015, 3:34 PM EST
It was a tough loss on Wednesday night, but the Nationals enter Thursday with a chance to win their third consecutive series, something they haven’t done since June 19-28.
Rookie Joe Ross (4-5, 3.56) will get the start against his former organization. The Padres traded Ross to the Nationals as part of a three-team deal this past offseason that also netted Washington shortstop Trea Turner.
Ross was good his last time out with seven innings of one-run ball against the Brewers. That followed two uneven outings where he gave up nine earned runs allowed.
Right-hander Andrew Cashner (5-12, 4.03) will start for San Diego. Cashner has had a season to forget, but he was excellent in his last appearance. He allowed no earned runs through six innings against the Cardinals on Aug. 21.
Updates to come, so please check back…
SAN DIEGO PADRES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MLBN, MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 183/862
Weather: Partly cloudy, 78 degrees, Wind 6 mph out to RF
LF Jayson Werth
2B Anthony Rendon
RF Bryce Harper
3B Yunel Escobar
1B Ryan Zimmerman
SS Ian Desmond
C Wilson Ramos
CF Michael Taylor
RHP Joe Ross
RF Travis Jankowski
2B Cory Spangenberg
3B Yangervis Solarte
LF Justin Upton
1B Yonder Alonso
CF Melvin Upton, Jr.
SS Alexi Amarista
C Austin Hedges
RHP Andrew Cashner
HP Hunter Wendelstedt (cc)
1B Marvin Hudson
2B David Rackley
3B Bob Davidson
7:05 p.m. — We’re underway on another spectacular night for baseball here. It’s been an incredible week weather-wise.
7:25 p.m. — A scoreless inning is in the books. Joe Ross retired the side on 12 pitches, striking out Cory Spangenberg. The Nats, meanwhile, got two men on against Andrew Cashner, with both Bryce Harper nd Yunel Escobar delivering 2-out singles. Ryan Zimmerman then sent a ball deep to center field that briefly drew a roar from the crowd, only to watch as Melvin Upton Jr. tracked it down and made an over-the-shoulder catch at the warning track. Zim just missed that one. 0-0 after one.
7:40 p.m. — The Padres got their first baserunner of the night when Justin Upton drew a walk to lead off the top of the second, but that’s all they got. Ross is through two innings on 27 pitches. Cashner retired the side in the bottom of the inning. We go to the third…
8:02 p.m. — Weird bottom of the third just now. With one out and Werth on first base, Rendon sent a sinking liner to shallow center field. Upton came charging in and attempted to make a shoestring catch, but it wasn’t obvious whether he got it or trapped the ball. Trouble is, second base umpire David Rackley didn’t signal anything, so Werth got caught in no-man’s land, not knowing whether he needed to run back to first base or run ahead to second base. Turns out third base umpire Bob Davidson ruled it a trap, and so Werth was tagged out while Rendon was ruled safe at first. Regardless, the Nats got nothing out of the inning, so it remains scoreless through three.
8:27 p.m. — Here’s a play that kind of feels emblematic of the Nats’ 2015 season: They just gave Spangenberg three bases on a bunt that traveled a total of 15 feet. That’s because Ramos’ throw sailed wide of Zimmerman and down the right-field line, with Harper breaking late to back up the play and unable to make the throw all the way to third base in time to get the speedy Spangenberg. That set the stage for a sac fly, and so the Padres have a 1-0 lead through four innings.
8:55 p.m. — We’re through the fifth and the Nats have taken a 2-1 lead, but it came at a price. Yunel Escobar “drove” in a run when he took a 97 mph fastball from Cashner off his right hand with the bases loaded. Escobar went down in a heap, and though he was able to get up and trot to first base, he didn’t come back out to the field for the top of the sixth. Rendon moves to third base and Danny Espinosa takes over at second. The Nats did take the lead moments later, though, when Zimmerman smoked a base hit up the middle, bringing home one run, though Harper was thrown out at the plate by Melvin Upton Jr. And when Ramos struck out looking with two on and two out, the inning was over, with the Nats scoring only two runs despite five consecutive batters reaching base. Felt like a bit of a missed opportunity. We’ll see.
Peter Hailey (CSN intern) taking over for Mark while he writes his game story
9:26 p.m. — In the top of the sixth, Joe Ross kept rolling, getting Jankowski to go down looking and Solarte to strike out swinging with a Spangenberg line out in between. However, despite his low pitch count (just 77 through six frames), Matt Williams elected to have Clint Robinson pinch hit for the rookie, ending what had been an impressive outing. Robinson popped out to left, but that was followed by a Werth home run, a laser that sailed over the 377′ sign in left field and into the Padres bullpen. It was Werth’s fourth dinger of the season, and helped give Washington a 3-1 lead. After a Rendon single, Cashner was pulled in favor of Bud Norris, who was able to finish the inning without allowing any more damage. Nats up two heading into the seventh.
9:41 p.m. — Casey Janssen is the one out of the bullpen to replace Ross, and he was on the mound for an incredibly eventful top of the seventh. After the first two Padres were retired, Upton Jr. hit a rocket to center, and Taylor, while trying to make a leaping catch, collided with the outfield fence at full speed. Upton Jr. ended up with a triple, while Taylor ended up on the warning track. He eventually limped off, making him the second Nats starter to leave the contest early. Espinosa moved out to left field for just the second time in his career, while Harper was bumped to center to replace Taylor, and Trea Turner was brought off the bench to play second. When all that was settled, the top half ended with Rendon making a dazzling diving stop down the third base line and throwing out pinch hitter Jedd Gyorko. After the stretch, Zimmerman gave a rude welcome to newly inserted reliever Kevin Quackenbush by hitting a homer to right center, his eleventh. Nationals now lead 4-1 as Drew Storen makes his way to the hill.
9:57 p.m. — Storen’s eighth is a smooth one, as he induces three fly balls without allowing a baserunner. During the home team’s half, the only noteworthy play came when Rendon was robbed of a hit up the middle by shortstop Clint Barmes. That makes Rendon even on the evening — he’s stolen a hit from a Padre, and a Padre has stolen a hit from him. And there’s that Ric Flair intro, meaning only one thing: Jonathan Papelbon is in to try and close this one out.
10:09 p.m. — After walking Spangenberg to start the ninth, Papelbon committed a balk while faking a pickoff throw to first, which allowed the Padres’ second baseman to move into scoring position. Alonso then singled past a diving Turner and scored Spangenberg to cut the lead to two. Papelbon induced a groundout after that, though, giving his team the 4-2 victory. The Nationals move to 64-62 on the season, and the Padres drop to 62-65. It’s the third straight series victory for Matt Williams’ club.
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
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