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Nationals 5, Padres 4

The SportsXchange

WASHINGTON -- Ryan Zimmerman drove in the go-ahead run with a broken-bat single to right field in the seventh inning as the Washington Nationals beat the San Diego Padres 5-4 on Saturday. It was the eighth loss in a row for the Padres (40-48), who end a rough road trip here on Sunday.

Bryce Harper had three RBI for the Nationals on the day he was named to the National League All-Star team.

Manager Davey Johnson said Friday that he planned to give Harper Saturday and maybe Sunday off because he was hitless in his last 18 at-bats and needed a break after coming off the disabled list Monday. Harper tweeted jokingly to Johnson after Friday's game to "play me or trade me."

Harper tied the game at 4-4 in the seventh on a sacrifice fly to left against lefty reliever Joe Thatcher. The Padres brought in righty Luke Gregerson and Zimmerman came through with the two-out hit to score Ian Desmond.

Jesus Guzman gave San Diego a 4-3 lead in the sixth when he crushed a three-run homer against Washington reliever Ross Ohlendorf, who was facing his first batter in place of starter Jordan Zimmermann, named an NL All-Star on Saturday.

Carlos Quentin and Chase Headley had back-to-back singles in the sixth before Ohlendorf came in to face Guzman.

The Nationals (45-42) have not been three games over .500 since May 18 when they were 23-20. Since then, there were four times Washington was two games over .500 and each time it lost the next game. But that was not the case Saturday.

San Diego starter Jason Marquis allowed three runs in six innings before he was lifted for pinch-hitter Pedro Ciriaco in the top of the seventh.

Harper gave Washington a 3-1 lead in the fifth on an RBI single to score Span. It was the first hit for Harper since he had gone 0-for-19.

San Diego had cut the lead to 2-1 in the fifth on an RBI groundout by Marquis, who pitched for the Nationals in 2010-11.

Adam LaRoche hit his 13th homer of the year to give Washington a 2-0 lead in the fourth. Harper walked with the bases loaded in the third to give the Nationals a 1-0 lead.

Zimmermann got a no-decision after giving up three runs in 5 1/3 innings. He leads the National League in wins with 12 and has not lost at home since May 2012.

Drew Storen pitched a clean eighth and Rafael Soriano pitched the ninth for his 24th save. He gave up two singles before a ground ball off the bat of Mark Kotsay glance off Soriano to second baseman Anthony Rendon, who threw to first for the second out as runners advanced to second and third. Soriano then retired Everth Cabrera for the final out on a grounder to first.

Ohlendorf got the win and is 2-0. Vincent got the loss and is 2-1.

NOTES: The Nationals' offense is starting to make noise, adding five runs to the eight each Thursday and Friday. "We have a deep lineup," Span said. ... San Diego manager Bud Black's wife and one of his daughters, Jessie, were expected to attend the game. Jessie is a rising senior gymnast at nearby University of Maryland. She went to high school in California ... Despite a double and homer on Friday, Headley was hitting .176 in his last 10 games. ... Washington RHP Tyler Clippard, in his last 13 outings out of the bullpen prior to Saturday, was 3-0 with an ERA of 0.66 ... San Diego C Yasmani Grandal left the game in the third when Anthony Rendon slid into him on a force at the plate with the bases loaded. Grandal had a right knee sprain and was to be evaluated after the game. Nick Hundley took over as catcher.
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