San Diego Padres' Ryan Schimpf (R) is congratulated by Travis Jankowski. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo
WASHINGTON - San Diego Padres reliever Ryan Buchter pumped his fist and let out a yell after he struck out Michael A. Taylor to end the bottom of the eighth inning in a tie game Sunday afternoon.
Drafted by the Nationals in the 33rd round in 2006, Buchter made it to the low Class-A Hagerstown (Maryland) Suns in the Washington system two years later before he was traded to the Chicago Cubs after the 2008 season.
Buchter, 29, picked up just the third win of his major league career Sunday as the Padres scored four runs in the ninth for a 10-6 win over the first-place but struggling Washington Nationals, taking two of three games in the series.
Yangervis Solarte had the go-ahead RBI single in the top of the ninth and Alexei Ramirez had a bases-loaded double off closer Jonathan Papelbon (2-3) for three insurance runs later in the frame.
"It is important for us. We have been playing well against the good teams," said Buchter, who finally made it to the majors in 2014 with the Atlanta Braves. "To win two out of three and almost take the third one, it shows you how good we can be."
Papelbon pitched for the third day in a row as he ERA soared to 3.62 as the Nationals, according to reports, may try to trade for Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman.
"I think it was just location," Papelbon said. "Coming in there with a situation where we have to preserve everything we can. I was one pitch away from getting out of that, but it all came down to a missed location against Solarte."
Said Ramirez, through a translator: "It is really important (to win the series). Everyone played their role. Everyone came through."
Buchter (2-0) gave up a leadoff double to Daniel Murphy in the eighth when Matt Kemp almost made a great catch in right field. But Buchter retired Chris Heisey and Taylor with Murphy on third with one out to get out of the jam.
"It was so far removed," Buchter said of his time in the Washington system. "I did not have my best stuff out there today. It was a big situation for us" in the eighth.
Rookie second baseman Ryan Schimpf and Alex Dickerson each had solo homers in the eighth off Shawn Kelley to tie the game at 6.
"Both of them have done a great job of coming off the bench and whatever their role has been," Pennsylvania native Buchter said. "It shows the young Padres how good they are."
Said Schimpf: "I am thankful for the opportunity I have with the Padres, for sure."
Both Schimpf and Dickerson were with Triple-A El Paso earlier this year.
"They are not Triple-A guys anymore," manager Andy Green said. "Those were big hits."
Wilson Ramos was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and Murphy was 3-for-3 with two RBIs for the Nationals.
Ramos had an RBI single to drive in Murphy to give the Nationals a lead of 6-4 in the fifth off reliever Carlos Villanueva, who gave up one run in three innings.
San Diego had cut the lead to 5-4 in the fourth as Schimpf had an RBI single off starter Lucas Giolito, who gave up four runs (two earned) in 3 1/3 innings in his third big league start.
"I wasn't commanding my off-speed pitches for strikes. Big league hitters are just able to take those pitches out of the equation, so they jumped on that," he said.
Washington scored four runs in the third to take a 5-3 lead. Jayson Werth had a sacrifice fly, Murphy had an RBI single and Ramos hit a two-run homer to left.
The Padres took a 3-1 advantage in the top of the third. With the bases loaded, Wil Myers had a two-run single to center, and Travis Jankowski, who had been on first, came all the way around to score after Myers was tagged out by second baseman Trea Turner on a rundown.
The speedy Turner led off the game with a standup triple to right field. Turner, who had two hits and a steal, then scored on a sacrifice fly by Murphy to give the Nationals a 1-0 lead.
San Diego starter Christian Friedrich, who had lost his previous four starts, gave up six hits and five earned runs in three innings. Washington reliever Matt Belisle came on in the fourth and gave up no runs and one hit in 2 2/3 innings. The fourth-place Padres (43-56) had lost five of six while Washington (58-41) has now lost four of six.
"They're all bad (losses). Fortunately, we have an off day tomorrow. We've had to go deep in the game with our bullpen," Washington manager Dusty Baker said. "I don't like to use my closer three days in a row, and this was three days in a row for Papelbon. The ball wasn't coming out the way that it had been since coming back from the injury" on July 4.
NOTES: The game time temperature was 96 degrees. ... The Nationals, according to the Washington Post, are in the running for Yankees LHP closer Aroldis Chapman with the non-waiver trade deadline Aug. 1. Chapman pitched for Washington manager Dusty Baker while with the Cincinnati Reds from 2010-13. ... Washington, to make room for Sunday starter RHP Lucas Giolito, sent RHP Koda Glover to Triple-A Syracuse. Glover made two appearances to begin his big league career and allowed no runs and one hit in two innings. ... Washington is off Monday and plays Tuesday in Cleveland with LHP Gio Gonzalez (6-8, 4.53 ERA) slated to pitch against Indians RHP Danny Salazar (11-3, 2.75 ERA). ... Padres RHP Colin Rea (5-4, 5.01 ERA) is scheduled to start Monday at Toronto against RHP Aaron Sanchez (10-1, 2.87 ERA). It will be the first trip ever for San Diego in Toronto. ... Nationals RF Bryce Harper got the day off and OF Chris Heisey started in right. Harper, who came on to play defense, entered the day hitting .164 in his last 15 games with just three homers in his last 55 at-bats.