Padres 7, Nationals 3

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WASHINGTON (AP)—David Wells decried the deplorable conditions in which he labored, while Josh Bard tried to make the best of the wet situation.

Wells threw five solid innings in the rain, Bard homered and drove in a career-high four runs and the San Diego Padres beat the Washington Nationals 7-3 on Sunday.

“Terrible, terrible and even worse,” Wells said when asked to assess the playing conditions as the teams played in persistent precipitation.

Had the game been postponed, the best makeup option would have been a Monday afternoon game on what was supposed to be an off day for the Padres.

“We just felt like people wanted to go home. They wanted to be home on the off day,” said Bard, whose team hosts the Los Angeles Dodgers for a three-game series beginning Tuesday. “We’re just excited getting out of here taking two of three.”

Since being suspended three games for his actions in a physical encounter with umpires in Pittsburgh on Thursday—when his apparent home run was reversed and ruled a double—Bard is 5-for-9 with two doubles, a homer and six RBIs. Washington’s Austin Kearns had to make a running catch on the warning track in right field on Bard’s seventh-inning sacrifice fly, which came with the bases loaded.

“He’s swinging the bat better,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “He would have had a real big game if Kearns hadn’t made the play against him.”

Bard’s three-run homer gave the Padres a first-inning lead, and Hiram Bocachica’s solo homer—his first hit since being claimed on waivers from Oakland on Thursday—snapped a fifth-inning tie.

Wells (3-3) prospered in terrible weather conditions to win for the second time in seven starts. The left-hander allowed three runs on five hits, walked none and struck out two as the Padres won for the seventh time in nine games.

Ryan Zimmerman homered for the Nationals, who fell to 6-22 against the Padres since August 2003.

Steady, and sometimes heavy, rain eventually turned a drizzle by the seventh inning, as the remnants of Tropical Storm Barry passed through the mid-Atlantic. Sandbags greeted early arrivals in the dugouts, water collected between first and second bases, and the grounds crew repeatedly spread drying compound on the soggy infield.

“You were lucky to have a dry ball at any given time,” Wells said. “It was terrible. I’m glad we played, but I don’t know why we should. Somebody could have gotten hurt.”

After Marcus Giles singled, Terrmel Sledge reached on a bunt single when no one covered first and Bard hit a one-out homer to right off Jason Simontacchi’s 0-1 pitch for a 3-0 lead.

“When you throw into his swing pattern, he’s going to hit the ball hard. … You try to hit your spots, and obviously, down and in isn’t a good spot,” Simontacchi said.

Washington tied it in the third on Zimmerman’s homer. Nook Logan singled, went to second on a sacrifice, moved to third on a groundout and scored on Ronnie Belliard’s double. Zimmerman then crushed his team-leading eighth home run, a mammoth shot that landed a third of the way up in the left-field upper deck.

“They told me where it went. Thats pretty far up there, I guess,” Zimmerman said.

Simontacchi (2-4) retired 12 straight after Bard’s homer before Bocachica connected with one out in the fifth. A throwing error by Zimmerman led to two more unearned runs and Simontacchi’s departure.

Marcus Giles reached on Zimmerman’s error and Sledge walked before Adrian Gonzalez extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a two-run double to right for a 6-3 lead.

Simontacchi gave up six runs—four earned—on five hits over 4 2-3 innings. He walked one and struck out four.

“I thought he pitched decent,” Nationals manager Manny Acta said. “He got hurt by the miscues behind him. He made a couple of mistakes, costly ones. He made a couple of mistakes (but) we didn’t play well behind him.”

Notes

OF Mike Cameron was a late scratch from the Padres’ lineup because of a tight hamstring. Bocachica took over for Cameron in center field, while Bard moved into his cleanup spot. Cameron flew out as a pinch-hitter in the ninth. … The Nationals signed 17-year-old Dominican SS Luis Castillo to a professional contract Sunday. … San Diego 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff was hit in the right shoulder by a Simontacchi pitch in the fourth, but plate umpire Bob Davidson ruled the pitch a ball because Kouzmanoff didn’t try to avoid it.

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