Padres Walk Over Nats to Achieve Split

Aaron Barrett walked in two runs that proved to be the difference in the Padres 4-2 win over the Nationals.  The win helped one of the weakest hitting teams in the National League achieve a split over the Nationals, despite scoring only nine runs in the four game series.

Ian Kennedy silenced the Nationals bats.  They were able to get to him in the first inning after Anthony Rendon and Jayson Werth hit back to back doubles.  Kennedy hit Danny Espinosa to lead off the second inning but after that retired the next 16 hitters.  Ian Desmond hit a one out single off him in the seventh but Kennedy was able to retire the next two hitters to complete seven innings.

The Padres took advantage of their walks to score four runs.  Chris Denorfia worked a leadoff walk against Taylor Jordan in the fourth.  Yasmani Grandal followed with a double off the scoreboard to advance Denorfia to third where he scored on a Jedd Gyorko fly ball to right field to tie the game.

The Padres took the lead in the fifth, taking advantage of Ross Detwiler after he had retired the first two hitters.  Evereth Cabrera singled, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch.  Chris Denorfia lined a 3-2 pitch for a single to score Cabrera and give the Padres a 2-1 lead.

The Padres collected three straight singles in the sixth, two off Detwiler and one off Aaron Barrett to load the bases.  After Barrett struck out Ian Kennedy for the second out it appeared the Nationals would escape the sixth without giving up a run.  Barrett threw four straight balls to Cabrera and walked Denorfia on a 3-2 pitch to plate two.  Jeremy Blevins had to come in, the third pitcher Matt Williams brought out in the sixth to strike out Yasmani Grandal to end the inning.

Nate McLouth, hitting below .100 and playing left field for the injured Bryce Harper got the Nationals fans excited by leading off the eighth inning with a line drive homerun into the right field bullpen off Joaquin Benoit.  It was the only hit the Nationals were to get in the inning.

Jayson Werth hit a leadoff single in the ninth, but Huston Street easily disposed of the next three hitters to give the Padres the win and a split of the series.

Game Notes: The Washington D.C. Sports Hall of Fame were announced today.  Charles Lefty Dreisel (University of Maryland basketball coach), Ola “Ollie” Kozig (Capitals goalie), Johnnie Holiday (voice of University of Maryland basketball and football), Michael Weiss (gold medalist figure skater), Chris Weller (university of Maryland women’s basketball coach), George Solomon (Sports reporter) and Ted Lerner (Nationals owner) were voted in.  The Lerner vote seemed a little odd to me and very self serving…The Padres batting practice display sent very few balls into the seats.  If the team can’t hit homeruns during batting practice how are they to hit homeruns in actual games?…Cameron Maybin made his 2014 debut and went 2 for 4.  The Padres could find themselves with a surplus of outfielders once Carlos Quentin returns, though if Will Venable does not start hitting the decision to replace him will not be hard…Ross Detwiler paid no attention to Chris Denorfia on second and he almost walked into third with a stolen base.  By the time the catcher received the ball Chris was standing on third…Ian Desmond was saved from committing another error in the ninth by the dugout railing.  Cabrera broke for second, Denorfia hit a hard grounder to Rendon, who flipped to Desmond.  The relay throw from Desmond to LaRoche was wide of the bag and headed for the dugout.  It hit against the railing, bounced back to LaRoche, who threw to second to retire the sliding Denorfia, a 4-6-3-6 double play…Ian Desmond is taking poor swings at pitches out of the strike zone, leading to 33 whiffs in just 26 games.

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