Taylor Jordan battled flu-like symptoms, the team could not get its offense going, and the bullpen struggled as the Washington Nationals (14-12) fell 4-2 to split their four-game series with the San Diego Padres (12-14).
The Nats came out of the gate quickly, but could not sustain the intensity throughout the game. In the bottom of the first Anthony Rendon doubled to center. Next Jayson Werth crushed a ball to the gap in left center to score Rendon. Unfortunately this was all of the offense the team could muster until the eighth inning.
Jordan was battling the flu, and it showed in his four innings on the mound. He allowed three hits and only one run, but his velocity was much lower than normal. At one point, his fastball even dropped below 85 mph. He was replaced after the fourth inning with the score 1-1.
Ross Detwiler came in for Jordan in the top of the fifth inning and immediately ran into trouble. First Everth Cabrera singled to right. Cabrera proceeded to steal second, and then advance to third on a Detwiler wild pitch. Chris Denorfia then singled him home to make the game 2-1.
Detwiler again ran into trouble in the top of the sixth. After a Yonder Alonso ground out, Will Venable and Cameron Maybin knocked back-to-back singles to end Detwiler’s day.
Aaron Barret replaced Detwiler and immediately allowed a bloop single to Nick Hundley to load the bases. Barret struck out Ian Kennedy for the second out of the inning, and it looked for a minute like the Nats would get out of the inning. Barret, however, had other ideas, and walked the next two batters to plate two runs and give the Padres a 4-1 lead.
Jerry Blevins came in to stop the bleeding, but the damage had been done.
Nate Mclouth narrowed the lead to two in bottom of the eight with a solo shot off of Joaquin Benoit. Unfortunately this was as close as the Nationals would get, as they could not do anything in the bottom of the ninth. McLouth is only hitting .118 on the year, but has hit the ball hard throughout this year. Hopefully this homer will jump start him a little bit.
The Nationals are off until Tuesday when they will face the Houston Astros (9-17) in Houston.
– Danny Espinosa was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the second inning and crumpled to the ground. The ball broke into his knee, and though he toughed it out for a little while he was replaced later in the game. Hopefully the injury will turn into nothing.