Taylor’s walk-off double off center field wall lifts Nats to 2-1 win

The game was delayed 10 minutes because of big rain storm that came through the area a couple of hours before first pitch.

Although the Padres are hitting the ball hard against right-hander Jeremy Hellickson, they have only singles from Jose Pirela in the first and Raffy Lopez in the second.

Left-hander Eric Lauer is off to a good start for San Diego, having not allowed a base hit to the Nationals in two frames.

Bryce Harper got to second base in his first at-bat thanks to a pop-up catch error by left fielder Franchy Cordero. But the Nats were unable to get him home.

Juan Soto walked on four pitches in the second. But he was caught off first by Lauer on a move that was close to being a balk.

trea-turner-bat-blue-back.jpgIn the third with two outs, Trea Turner singled. Harper singled into the shift between two defenders. But Anthony Rendon struck out for the second time in a row.

After three innings, the Nats and the Padres are scoreless.

Update: In the fourth, Franchy Cordero led off with a solo homer, his seventh.

Mid-fourth, the Padres lead the Nats 1-0.

Update II: Harper crushed a solo shot over the center field wall. It is his 15th homer of the season. Each team has four hits.

Through five innings, the Nats and Padres are tied 1-1.

Update III: For a moment, it appeared the Padres had taken back the lead in the sixth inning.

Franmil Reyes singled to center with Pirela on second. Pirela raced home and was initially called safe by home plate umpire Eric Cooper on the throw from Michael A. Taylor and the sweep tag from catcher Pedro Severino. But video replay revealed Severino got Pirela and the inning was over.

Hellickson left with what appeared to be a blister in his pitching hand. He finished 5 1/3 innings, allowing one run on five hits with five strikeouts and one walk. He threw 75 pitches, 46 for strikes. Wander Suero allowed the single, but was credited with two outs to end the inning.

Mid-sixth, the game is tied 1-1.

Update IV: Lauer lasted six innings, giving up only the Harper homer, plus five other hits, two walks and seven strikeouts. He threw 99 pitches, 67 for strikes.

Former Nats reliever Craig Stammen threw a scoreless seventh inning.

After seven, game tied 1-1.

Update V: In the top of the ninth, Sean Doolittle struck out the side.

Michael A. Taylor walkoff dogpile.jpgBottom of the ninth against heft-hander Matt Strahm, Soto was walked for the third time. Wilmer Difo grounded out to third base. Soto made it to second base. Taylor doubled off the center field wall to score Soto. It’s a walk-off winner for the Nats. Boy, did Taylor need that.

Final score: the Nats 2, the Padres 1.

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