Harper homers, Zimmermann wins again at Petco, 10-0
SAN DIEGO (AP) Jordan Zimmermann owns the Padres at Petco Park.
Zimmermann and A.J. Cole combined on a seven-hitter and Bryce Harper hit his NL-leading 13th homer to lead the Washington Nationals to a 10-0 victory against San Diego on Friday night.
Zimmermann (3-2) struck out six and allowed six singles in six innings to win his fourth straight start. Zimmermann allowed three straight singles opening the fifth before retiring the side to preserve the shutout bid.
He improved to 3-1 with a 0.50 ERA in five starts at Petco Park, with 40 strikeouts against two walks.
''I don't know what it is,'' said Zimmermann, who doesn't necessarily agree that Petco is a pitcher's park.
''It is a pretty big ballpark,'' he said. ''I had a few good starts here strung together so my numbers look good.''
Zimmermann said he had a good fastball ''and I could throw it inside with a purpose. That opened up the slider and curveball. I had the velocity and the command that I wanted.''
Said San Diego manager Bud Black: ''He was on tonight. He had a nice hop in the zone. We just couldn't square the ball up.''
Harper matched the home run total for his entire injury-plagued 2014 season, when he played 100 games. His 13 homers this year have come in 37 games.
Cole, recalled earlier from Triple-A Syracuse, allowed one single in three innings of relief to earn his first save.
The Nationals had a season-high 16 hits in winning for the 13th time in 17 games.
The Padres were shut out for the fourth time in 11 games and the sixth time this season.
Harper paused for a moment to admire his high, arcing shot off reliever Shawn Kelley into the Jack Daniel's party deck atop the right field wall in the fourth that give the Nationals an 8-0 lead. It was the second homer in five games on this trip for Harper, who hit six homers at home last week.
''I think we knew we were going to get going and everyone knew that. We have such a great team,'' Harper said. ''We are going to score runs and do what we need to do to help our pitcher win.''
Harper, who had three hits, had a hand in roughing up Padres starter Odrisamer Despaigne (2-2), who allowed seven runs and 10 hits in three innings.
The Nationals opened with four straight singles off Despaigne, including Harper's RBI single. Ryan Zimmerman drew a bases-loaded walk, another run came in when Wilson Ramos hit into a double play and Ian Desmond hit an RBI single.
''They jumped him pretty quickly,'' Black said. ''He's got to make better pitches. His secondary pitches aren't effective right now. They're not in the strike zone. They're not serving any function right now.''
The Nationals had five straight hits opening the third. Desmond hit an RBI single and Danny Espinosa drove in two runs before being thrown out trying to stretch a double into a triple. Zimmermann doubled to left before Despaigne got the final two outs.
Despaigne has allowed 15 runs in eight innings in his last two starts.
''I think my control has been a little inconsistent,'' Despaigne said through a translator. ''One time it's my fastball that's not working and the next time it's my curveball that's not working. It's just a matter of consistency.''
Nationals: LF Jayson Werth was hit on the left wrist by a pitch from Despaigne in the second and was replaced in the bottom of the inning by Tyler Moore. The team said X-rays on Werth's wrist were negative. ... Washington placed RHP Doug Fister on the 15-day DL with right forearm tightness and recalled Cole. Fister lasted only two innings in an 8-3 loss Thursday night, allowing seven runs and eight hits.
Padres: Black said OF Wil Myers (wrist) could be available for next week's series against the Chicago Cubs. ... RHP Josh Johnson, who's coming back from arm surgery, had a bullpen session.
Nationals: Max Scherzer (3-3, 1.99 ERA) faced the Padres four times while with Arizona in 2009, going 1-1 with a 2.63 ERA. He has faced them only once since then, losing 5-1 on April 13, 2014.
Padres: RHP Andrew Cashner (1-6, 3.07) has been tagged with the loss in each of his last four starts despite posting a 3.33 ERA in that stretch. The Padres are 1-6 in his starts and he leads the majors with 10 unearned runs allowed.