Nationals get to Ian Kennedy and Padres for early lead (Padres win 4-2)

The Nationals jumped on Padres starter Ian Kennedy in the first inning. With one out, Anthony Rendon crushed a double off the top of the right-center field wall. Jayson Werth then rocketed a double deep to left-center field and the Nationals led 1-0.

Nationals starter Taylor Jordan allowed a single to Chris Denorfia but got the benefit of a 3-6-3 double play to end the top of the first.

In the second inning, Danny Espinosa was hit by a pitch on his right knee and stayed down at home plate on his hands and knees for a couple of minutes. After being attended to by trainer Lee Kuntz, he made his way to first base. After a wild pitch, Espinosa slid into second base and continued to bend and stretch his right knee. He made it to third before the inning ended. We will monitor his status as the game progresses.

Update: The Padres earned a walk from Denorfia to begin the fourth. Yasmani Grandal doubled off the right-center field wall to get two men in scoring position. Jedd Gyorko’s sacrifice fly to right scored Denorfia and the game was tied 1-1.

Jordan walked two batters in the inning, but has done a nice job getting weak grounders to the right side of the infield to keep the Padres off the board except for just one run in the fourth.

Update II: Jordan went only four innings, but allowed just one run. Ross Detwiler came out to pitch the fifth. Espinosa also left with Rendon taking over second and Zach Walters entering the game at third base. Jordan gave up only three hits, two walks but had no strikeouts. He threw 63 pitches, 36 for strikes. We will check on Jordan and why he was pulled after four innings. Manager Matt Williams has said he has wanted to get Detwiler some more work, maybe this was the opportunity.

Padres got a rally going with two outs in the fifth against Detwiler. Everth Cabrera singled and stole second. He went to third on a wild pitch. Denorfia singled to give San Diego their first lead of the game 2-1.

Update III: The Padres kept picking on Detwiler. In the sixth with one out, the Padres connected on singles by Will Venable and Cameron Maybin. Aaron Barrett caome on to replace Detwiler and things got worse. Nick Hundley singled to load the bases.

After Kennedy struck out, Barrett walked Cabrera and Denorfia, walking in a pair of runs, and the Padres led 4-1. With the bases loaded, Jerry Blevins replaced Barrett and struck out Grandal to end what could have been a disastrous inning.

Kennedy has set down 15 straight Nationals hitters, helped by a spectacular diving catch in right field to foil extra bases for Jayson Werth.

After six innings, Padres lead 4-1.

Update IV: Nate McLouth cranked a solo shot off of Padres reliever Joaquin Benoit in the eighth to cut the Padres lead to 4-2.

Huston Street pitched the ninth for the Padres to record his ninth save. Werth slapped a clean single to begin the bottom of the ninth, but Adam LaRoche flew out and Ian Desmond struck out. Pinch-hitter Tyler Moore flew out to right field to end the game.

The teams split the four-game series. The Nationals end their 11-game homestand 5-6 and are 14-12 overall. They have a day off Monday and are at Houston on Tuesday.

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