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Nationals 8, Padres 5: Johnson loses on longball

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That was a lot of home runs.

MLB: Washington Nationals at San Diego Padres Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Erik Johnson is having a less than great start to his Padres career. He allowed five runs in tonight’s loss, with four of them coming on a trio of home runs by the Nationals. The Friar offense put up a solid effort, but in addition to being outmatched by the DC crew, the defense also gave up a pair of unearned runs that provided insurance to the Nats.

The team got off to a good start, with Jankowski leading off the bottom of the first with a single up the middle, followed by a Wil Myers walk. Matt Kemp picked pu the first RBI of the evening with another single to center, scoring the speedy Jankowski. Melvin Upton hit another single to put the team up two zip.

Wilson Ramos led the counteroffensive in the top of the second with a leadoff single. Clint Robinson followed with a single of his own, but got caught at second on Anthony Rendon’s ground out. With runners on the corners and one out, Stephen Drew hit a sacrifice fly to put the Nationals on the board.

After nipping at the Padres’ heels in the second, DC made their attack in the third. Jayson Werth hit a single to left with two outs, and then Bryce Harper and Wilson Ramos launched back-to-back bombs to give the Nats a lead they would never give up.

The Friars made it close in the middle of the evening, though. Wil Myers hit a solo shot to left field in the fifth inning to cut the lead to two. In the sixth, Melvin Upton hit a leadoff single. He took second while Ryan Schimpf struck out, and then made a run at third with Christian Bethancourt at the plate. Upton was originally called out, but a replay review showed that Rendon’s glove never made contact with the speedy Padre, who went on to bring the team within one run on Bethancourt’s ground out.

Rendon got his revenge the very next inning, taking Erik Johnson deep to left field. But it was the seventh inning that officially sunk San Diego. An error by Yangervis Soalrte put Ben Revere on first to start the inning. Revere stole second and went to third on a ground out by Werth. Brad Hand intentionally walked Harper to get to Ramos, who drew a walk to load the bases. Robinson hit a sacrifice fly to score the unearned run and put a black spot on Hand’s outing. Andy Green went to Kevin Quackenbush to wrap up the inning without further damage.

Revere would cause trouble again in the ninth. After drawing a leadoff walk, he went to third on a single from Werth. Bethancourt tried to pick off Revere, but he air mailed the throw, allowing one runner to score while the other advanced to third. Another single, this one from Harper, gave the Nationals a three-run lead. The Padres made an effort in their last at-bats, with pinch hitter Jon Jay leading off with a single and Wil Myers hitting a ground rule double ahead of a one-out sac fly, but it was too little, too late. Solarte grounded out to complete his 0-for-5 night and end the game.

Christian Friedrich will take on former Friar farmhand Joe Ross as the series continues tomorrow night. First pitch will be at 7:40 PM.