Nick Wass
July 23, 2016

WASHINGTON (AP) Stephen Drew returned to the Washington Nationals after a multiday illness sapped strength and pounds, then found enough energy for a timely hit Saturday night.

Drew hit a game-ending RBI triple in the ninth inning to give the Nationals a 3-2 win over the San Diego Padres .

Anthony Rendon opened the bottom off the ninth with a single off reliever Kevin Quackenbush (6-4). Drew, who last played June 17, entered with one out and drove a pitch off the center-field scoreboard. Rendon raced around the bases for the winning run.

''He was on the bench a few innings tonight,'' Baker said of Drew. ''Other than that, we had sent him home. Not eating. Couldn't hold any food. I think he lost seven or eight pounds. ... I'm sure this will make him feel better.''

Just in time based on Drew's description of the high-fever scenario.

''It's been crazy,'' said Drew, who chose to sit down on a chair when speaking with reporters. ''I don't want to say on TV, but it's been ugly.''

Jonathan Papelbon (2-2) allowed a leadoff double in the ninth before retiring three straight batters. San Diego left runners in scoring position in each of the last two innings.

Max Scherzer struck out 10 over seven innings. Washington's starter surrendered two runs and four hits, including a two-run homer to Ryan Schimpf.

Edwin Jackson allowed two runs and six hits over six innings for the Padres.

San Diego fell to 1-5 on its 10-game road trip. The Padres snapped a four-game skid with a 5-3 win Friday.

''Both of those hits were hanging breaking balls in the middle of the plate,'' Padres manager Andy Green said of the ninth inning. ''(Stephen) hadn't been on the field in six or seven days and comes out and has a great at-bat for them and wins the game.''

Scherzer struck out three of the first five batters, but Schimpf struck back for the Padres in the second, turning on a 2-0 fastball for a towering drive deep over the right-field wall for a 2-0 lead. The homer was the 22nd allowed this season by Scherzer, most in the NL, extended San Diego's franchise record of 21 straight games with a home run. It was Schimpf's eighth this month.

''His fastball's good, so I just tried to get geared up to get a good pitch to drive,'' Schimpf said.

The All-Star recovered and retired 15 of the final 16 batters he faced. Since June 1, Scherzer is 5-2 with a 1.71 ERA in 10 starts.

''If you fall behind and throw fastballs in this league, you're going to get beat,'' Scherzer said of the home run. ''I also wasn't going to let that mistake define my outing.''

He struck out at least 10 for the eighth time this season and 44th over his career. Scherzer allowed one run over six innings with 10 strikeouts in a no-decision at San Diego on June 18.

NL batting leader Daniel Murphy's third-inning sacrifice fly cut San Diego's lead in half.

Washington tied the score 2-2 in the fifth with a pair of doubles. Ben Revere stepped into the batter's box 2 for 20 on the homestand before stroking the ball into the right-field corner, scoring Danny Espinosa.

Travis Jankowski tripled with two outs in the eighth, but Nationals reliever Shawn Kelley ended the threat by striking out Wil Myers looking.

DOUBLED UP

Scherzer retired Matt Kemp twice before the outfielder doubled in the sixth inning. Kemp entered the at-bat 1 for 29 (.034) career against Scherzer.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Padres: RHP Tyson Ross (right shoulder inflammation), out since Opening Day, recently threw from 250 feet. ''His arm feels really good,'' Green said. ''It's still just taking time.''

Nationals: 1B Ryan Zimmerman (left ribcage strain) went 2 for 3 with a three-run homer Saturday for Class A Potomac in his third rehab game. Placed on the DL retroactive to July 7, Zimmerman is expected to rejoin Washington's lineup Tuesday at Cleveland.

UP NEXT

Padres: LHP Christian Friedrich (4-6, 4.55) has lost four straight decisions.

Nationals: RHP Lucas Giolito (0-0, 4.70), Washington's top prospect, will be recalled from Triple-A Syracuse for Sunday's start. The 22-year-old was demoted on July 8 following his first two ML starts.

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