But the over four-hour game was worth the wait as Xavier Nady
singled in Jedd Gyorko with the go-ahead run with two outs in the
top of the 12th inning against reliever Craig Stammen and the San
Diego Padres beat the Washington Nationals 4-3 on Thursday.
"That was interesting for sure. You had to be creative as you went
along" with using the bench, said Black. "As coaches, we really had
to put our heads together."
Black said Headley appears headed to the disabled list while the
manager hopes that Smith, who tweaked his groin, will be okay to
play in a few days.
"It was a battle. It was huge for our team," said San Diego starting
pitcher Eric Stults, who allowed 10 hits but just two runs in 5 1/3
innings. "Our bullpen did a great job. It was great to get the W."
Tim Stauffer pitched 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, Alex Torres
(1-0) retired two batters in the 11th and Huston Street pitched the
12th for his eighth save.
"He did a great job," Stults said of Stauffer. "He made some really
Said Black: "Along the way there were a lot of clutch pitches. We
had to try and do some things to try and win a game."
Nady, who played for Washington in 2012, entered the game with an
average of .167, but his grounder got through the middle and scored
Gyorko, who singled, stole second and went to third on a throwing
error by catcher Jose Lobaton.
The Padres had lost 11 of the previous 15 games to Washington, which
left 14 runners on base and was hitless in 16 at-bats with runners
in scoring position.
"There were opportunities," said Matt Williams, the Washington
manager. "If we give ourselves that many opportunities, we are going
to" be fine.
Stammen (0-1) pitched well for the Nationals this season, but he
rarely has to go three innings, like he did Thursday.
"Two weak contact hits that I can't do anything about," he said of
the 12th inning. "I got behind Nady 2-0, so he kind of knew a
fastball was coming, but I left it up a little bit. He just put it
in a good spot."
The San Diego bullpen entered the game with an ERA of 1.74, the best
mark in the majors.
Street pitched the last of the 12th for his eighth save of the
season, even though Bryce Harper led off with a double when left
fielder Tommy Medica slipped going after a fly ball. Zach Walters
lined into a double play to end the game, with Harper retired off
[to top of second column]
San Diego first baseman Yonder Alonso appeared to steal second with
no outs in the top of the ninth with Rafael Soriano on the mound for
Washington. But the play was reviewed and the call was overturned
for a caught stealing for the first out of the inning, much to the
chagrin of San Diego manager Bud Black.
The Nationals' Adam LaRoche tied the game at 3 with one out in
the seventh with a solo home run into the Washungton bullpen.
San Diego broke a 1-1 tie in the sixth as catcher Yasmani Grandal
laced a two-run double to right-center to score starting pitcher
Stults and Smith to make it 3-1 against Washington starter Jordan
Washington second baseman Danny Espinosa (three hits) cut the lead
to 3-2 with a solo home run in the last of the sixth against Stults.
The Padres tied the game at 1 in the fourth on an RBI double to
right field by Smith. His hit scored Chris Denorfia.
The Nationals grabbed a 1-0 lead in the third as a sacrifice fly by
Anthony Rendon scored Span.
NOTES: LHP Eric Stults, in his first appearance at Nationals Park,
went a season-high six innings in his last start against the
Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday. "He is crafty. On any given night
Stults can do many different things with a baseball, which is good,"
said Padres manager Bud Black. ... Jessie Black, the daughter of Bud
Black, is a gymnast at the nearby University of Maryland and is
expected to graduate next month. She and some of her teammates plan
to attend Friday's game ... The scheduled starters for Friday are
RHP Stephen Strasburg (1-2, 5.33) for Washington against LHP Robbie
Erlin (1-2, 4.15) for the Padres ... San Diego OF Chris Denorfia
entered Thursday with a batting average of .406 with two strikes in
the count ... San Diego reliever RHP Tim Stauffer played at the
University of Richmond, about 110 miles south of Nationals Park.
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