Nationals get aggressive to go up on Padres in third (San Diego wins 4-3 in 12)

The Nationals got on the board in the third inning against Padres lefty Eric Stults. Pitcher Jordan Zimmermann got it started with a single past diving shortstop Everth Cabrera and into left field. Denard Span reached on a fielder’s choice, erasing Zimmermann at second.

Span then stole second and Stults’ pickoff throw sailed past the first baseman, allowing Span to go to third. He scored on a towering fly ball to left field off the bat of Anthony Rendon and the Nationals led 1-0.

Zimmermann allowed a base hit by Cabrera to lead off the game, but then set down eight straight batters.

The Nationals lead 1-0 after three innings.

Update: San Diego evened the score in the fourth. With one out, Chris Denorfia singled. Then Seth Smith laced a double down the right field line to score Denofria and tie the game.

Adam LaRoche then fielded a sharp grounder at first and caught Smith in a rundown for the second out. Third baseman Alexi Amarista, who replaced an injured Chase Headley (right calf strain) in the bottom of the second, grounded out to end the inning.

The Nationals managed two hits in the bottom of the fourth on singles by Bryce Harper and Danny Espinosa. However, Jose Lobaton and Zimmermann lined out to end the threat.

Update II: Grandal hit a two-run double to deep center field in the sixth to give the Padres a 3-1 lead, their first of the series. Stults led off the inning with a double and Smith later walked to set up Grandal’s big base hit.

The Nationals answered in their half of the sixth. Espinosa slammed his second homer of the season, a solo shot down the left field line and the Padres lead was trimmed to 3-2.

The Nationals managed two more base runners to try to continue the rally, but Rendon grounded to third to end the inning.

Update III: The game is tied at 3-3 after LaRoche homered to right in the seventh inning.

The game has moved into extra innings.

Update IV: The Padres scored in the top of the 12th on a run-scoring single by former Nationals outfielder Xavier Nady.

Facing Huston Street in the bottom of the 12th, Bryce Harper led off the bottom of the 12th with a double when left fielder Tommy Medica slipped and fell and could not catch the fly ball. Pinch-hitter Tyler Moore struck out and Lobaton lined into a double play to cap a 4-3 Padres win.

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