Werth, Zimmerman homer as Nationals defeat Padres 4-2

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WASHINGTON (AP) The Washington Nationals pulled out a big win on the field Thursday night. Off the field, they didn't do quite as well.

Jayson Werth and Ryan Zimmerman homered, and starter Joe Ross allowed only a bunt single in six innings as the Nationals beat the San Diego Padres 4-2.

But the injury-riddled Nationals lost third baseman Yunel Escobar (right hand contusion) and center fielder Michael A. Taylor (right knee contusion) during the game.

After the game, Washington manager Matt Williams said that center fielder Denard Span's back issues have re-surfaced, and he'll go on the disabled list with a left hip inflammation and could be done for the season.

''I don't know if I've ever seen anything like (the injuries of the season),'' Williams said. ''But it is what it is. There's not much you can do about it.''

Both Escobar and Taylor are day-to-day, and Williams said they will see how both feel on Friday. Escobar got hit by starter Andrew Cashner with the bases loaded in the fifth and drove in a run on the play before leaving an inning later.

Taylor ran full speed into the wall in center trying to catch Melvin Upton Jr.'s triple and injured the knee. The outfielder came out after the play and needed some help walking off the field.

The Nationals wound up playing short and have lost at least one key player, but Zimmerman said they have just got to keep pushing since they are in the playoff picture.

''That's kind of how this year's gone but we've got to play through it, and we've got to find a way to keep winning games and keep winning series,'' Zimmerman said. ''Every team goes through a lot. Obviously we've had more than our fair share ... we've got to find a way to keep winning games.''

Zimmerman went 2 for 4 with two RBIs. His run-scoring single in the fifth gave the Nationals the lead for good at 2-1.

Werth, who went 2 for 4, added a solo homer off Cashner (5-13) in the sixth. Zimmerman greeted reliever Kevin Quackenbush with a homer to start the seventh.

Ross (5-5) won his second straight start, allowing the bunt single by Corey Spangenberg and one run in six innings. The right-hander, brother of San Diego pitcher Tyson Ross, struck out seven and walked two against the team that traded him to Washington in the offseason.

''He was sensational, dominant,'' Padres manager Pat Murphy said. ''(We) couldn't hit too many balls hard off of him. He was great.''

Jonathan Papelbon closed it in the ninth with his fourth save since joining Washington despite giving up a run on Yonder Alonso's two-out single.

The Padres finished with only three hits.

Spangenberg led off the fourth with the bunt single in front of the plate. He ended up at third on the play when catcher Wilson Ramos made a wild throw.

Yangervis Solarte followed with a sacrifice fly that gave San Diego a 1-0 lead.

The Nationals took the lead with two runs in the fifth. Cashner hit Escobar with the bases loaded to tie the game, and Zimmerman added his tie-breaking single one batter later.

San Diego missed on a good scoring chance against Casey Janssen in the seventh after Upton's two-out triple. Williams then moved some players around after Taylor got hurt on the play and needed to leave, and Anthony Rendon went to third.

Rendon made a diving stop on pinch-hitter Jedd Gyorko's shot down the line and threw him out to prevent a run and keep Washington's lead at 3-1.


Upton got two assists in this game. He threw out Bryce Harper at home in the fifth and earlier got an assist when trapping a fly ball by Rendon and throwing to first to let Alonso tag out Werth, who had stopped because he didn't see the umpire signal if it was an out or a hit.


Zimmerman's two RBIs gave him eight, his highest total for a series this season. He got the go-ahead RBI and later gave the Nationals insurance with his solo homer.


Nationals: Escobara left in the sixth, an inning after getting hit on the right wrist with the bases loaded. He has a right hand contusion and is day-to-day. . Taylor came out in the seventh after crashing into the wall - and tearing a piece of the padding - trying to make a catch. He has a right knee contusion and is also day-to-day.

Padres: OF Matt Kemp is out of the lineup due to a sore left shoulder that he hurt diving for a ball in Wednesday's game. He's day-to-day. ... RHP Josh Johnson (Tommy John surgery) threw off the mound and felt good Wednesday. He will throw again in a few days.


Padres RHP Ian Kennedy (8-11, 4.01) starts the opener of San Diego's weekend series in Philadelphia. The Nationals send RHP Max Scherzer (11-10, 2.79) out to kick off their series with Miami on Friday.