Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg got behind a couple of hitters early on, but looks to be focused and is gradually locating his fastball very well in the series opener against the Padres.
Padres right-hander Edinson Volquez walked three of the first five batters he faced, but the Nationals could not score in first three innings.
The Nationals’ best chance early was in the second inning when Volquez was wild again, walking Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche to begin the frame. But Volquez struck out three consecutive hitters to get out of the jam.
Update: The game was scoreless through three innings. Then with one out in the fourth, and after another walk to Zimmerman, Adam LaRoche hit his fifth homer of the season, a two-run shot, to give the Nationals a 2-0 lead.
Update II: The Nationals went at Volquez again in the fifth. Steve Lombardozzi’s bloop single scored a run to make it 3-0. Zimmerman followed with a two-run single for a 5-0 lead.
Update III: The Padres got single runs in the fifth and sixth. With two men on in the fifth and one out, Strasburg was able this time to get past another Zimmerman throwing error, unlike what happened last Saturday in the loss to the Cubs. Nats still lead 5-2.
Update IV: As if on cue, with two outs in the seventh, Bryce Harper crushed a Tyson Ross pitch over the center field wall for his 11th homer of the season, and the Nats lead reached, 6-2.
Update V: Manager Davey Johnson allowed Strasburg to go through the eighth inning for the first time in his career and the right-hander delivered.
Rafael Soriano pitcheed a scoreless ninth and the Nationals won for just the second time in six games, a great way to start the four-game series in San Diego. It was only the Padres’ second loss at home in 11 games.
Injury update: Before the game, manager Davey Johnson said left-hander Ross Detwiler would “probably” miss his next start with back spasms, suffered in Wednesday’s start against the Dodgers when he had to leave in the third inning.
Davey said on MASN’s Nats Xtra postgame that there was some “irregularity” on Detwiler’s MRI and doctors will look at it again Friday.