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Nationals 7, Padres 5: Friedrich gets pasted by DC

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

Christian Friedrich had a rough go of things this time around, with the Nationals hammering him for six runs in six innings. Half of those runs came on a pair of long balls. The Padres offense made some noise for the second night in a row, but they couldn’t stop the NL East leader.

The Friars got on the board quickly, with Jon Jay starting the game doing what he does best. His leadoff double put him in scoring position, and a ground out by Wil Myers set him up to go home on Matt Kemp’s single. That was the only time the team had the lead, and it didn’t last long.

In the top of the second, Friedrich issued a one-out walk to Ryan Zimmerman. Wilson Ramos sent Zimmerman to third with a single to center, and then Anthony Rendon made Friedrich pay for his mistake with a sacrifice fly to tie the game.

But the third inning is what truly ruined the lefty’s night. After the first two batters went down quickly, the heart of the DC lineup rallied for four runs. Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper hit back-to-back singles ahead of Daniel Murphy, who cleared the bases with a double to right. Zimmerman compounded the damage by going yard and giving the Nats a four run lead.

Ryan Schimpf started the bottom of the fifth by drawing a walk, and Alexi Amarista moved him to second with a single. The Padres could have had two runners in scoring position, but Wilson Ramos fielded Friedrich’s bunt with time to catch Schimpf at third. That worked well for DC, who only gave up one run when Jay hit a single immediately afterwards. And then Murphy answered right back in the top of the sixth with a solo shot to preserve the Nats’ four run lead. Derek Norris said, “Two can play at this game” in the bottom of the sixth with his eighth bomb of the years.

Once again, Washington answered immediately. Michael Taylor led off the seventh with a single, and then stolse second while Werth was at the plate. Werth moved Taylor up another ninety feet with a ground out, and then Harper singled to right to plate the seventh DC player of the night. After the stretch, the Friars made their strongest effort at a comeback. Christian Bethancourt drew a leadoff walk, and then Jay sent him to the opposite corner by hitting his second double of the night. Myers grounded out to score one runner and move the other to third. A ground ball from Yangervis Solarte scored Upton, but that was the last run of the game.

The Padres will try to hold out for a series tie tomorrow, with Colin Rea taking on Max Scherzer at 7:10 PM.