Joe Ross leads Washington Nationals over San Diego Padres

By Bill Center, The Sports Xchange
Washington Nationals starting pitcher Joe Ross. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
Washington Nationals starting pitcher Joe Ross. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

SAN DIEGO -- Joe Ross admitted it was a special night.

A first-round pick by San Diego in the 2011 draft, the 23-year-old right-hander faced the Padres for the first time Friday night at Petco Park. He was credited with the win as the Washington Nationals rode the bats of Daniel Murphy and Ryan Zimmerman to a 7-5 victory over the Padres.


"We won, so it was a good one," said Ross, who allowed three runs on six hits and two walks while striking out six in six innings to improve to 6-4.

"It wasn't a great start in my mind, but we won. It just made it a little extra special, I guess, more than other starts because my parents were here and my brother (Tyson) was in the opposing dugout other than that it was just another game."


Joe Ross went from the Padres to Washington with shortstop Trea Turner -- another former first-round Padres draft pick -- on Dec. 18, 2014, in a three-team trade that brought first baseman Wil Myers to San Diego.

"I thought he handled the situation well," said manager Dusty Baker after his Nationals defeated the Padres for a second straight night.

The National League East leaders have won three straight and 10 of their last 12 games.

The Padres have lost six of their last seven games.

Right-hander Yusmeiro Petit got the save.

Offensively, Murphy drove in three runs with a double and his 12th homer while Zimmerman drove in two runs with his 10th homer to cap a four-run third inning that put the Nationals ahead to stay.

Both homers came off Padres left-handed starter Christian Friedrich, who allowed six runs on nine hits and three strikeouts in the worst of his seven starts for the Padres. He fell to 3-2 with the loss.

"I didn't execute a lot of my off-speed stuff tonight," said Friedrich, whose ERA shot up from 2.12 to 3.15 in his seventh start. "I didn't execute. I was leaving fastballs up in the zone."


"Friedrich gave us six pretty good innings," said Padres manager Andy Green. "He made a couple crucial mistakes. He got burned tonight when he got caught in the in the zone when the pitches should have been out of the zone. He was catching too much of the plate.

"It wasn't a bad outing. It wasn't as bad as the numbers."

For the second straight night, the Padres struck first. And for the second straight night, the Nationals tied the game then broke it open with a multi-run inning.

Jon Jay opened the bottom of the first with a double off the wall in center. Jay moved to third on Wil Myers groundout to the right side and scored on Matt Kemp's single to center.

After scoring only 14 first inning runs over the first two months of the season, the Padres have scored 22 first-inning runs in the first 16 games of June.

Friedrich started the game by retiring the first four hitters he faced before walking Zimmerman, who advanced to third on a single by Wilson Ramos and scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Anthony Rendon.


The Nationals followed with a four-run third capped by Zimmerman's two-run homer. And for the second straight game, the Nationals' decisive rally started with two out.

Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper hit back-to-back, two-run singles and scored on a two-run double to right-center by Murphy. Zimmerman followed with his 10th homer of the season.

The Padres cut the deficit to three runs in the bottom of the fifth when Alexei Ramirez singled, moved to second on a fielder's choice and scored on Jay's single.

The teams exchanged homers in the sixth. Washington stretched its lead to 6-2 on Murphy's 378-foot homer to left leading off the inning. Derek Norris homered off Ross in the bottom of the inning to make it 6-3.

But the Nationals scored again in the top of the seventh, marking the sixth time in two games that Washington scored in the top of an inning after the Padres scored.

Michael Taylor singled, stole second and scored when Harper rocketed a single through a drawn-in infield.

NOTES: With a left-hander starting for the Padres, CF Ben Revere got Friday night off for the Nationals. 1B Ryan Zimmerman and 2B Daniel Murphy were back in the starting lineup after getting Thursday night off. ... The Padres released RHP Fabio Castillo from Triple-A El Paso after signing RHP Edwin Jackson to a minor league contract. ... 1B Wil Myers has eight home runs in the first 15 games of June. The club record for homers in June is 10. ... CF Jon Jay was 3-for-5 with two doubles Friday night giving the Padre the National League lead with 24 doubles, half of which came in his last 21 games.


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