WASHINGTON (AP) Cameron Maybin didn’t need to slide to make it safely into second base. He did it anyway, and in grandiose style.
Welcome back to the majors, Mr. Maybin.
Maybin contributed two hits as Ian Kennedy and the San Diego Padres celebrated the return of their center fielder with a 4-2 victory over the Washington Nationals.
Maybin ruptured his left biceps in spring training and missed the Padres’ first 25 games. He played 10 rehab games with Triple-A El Paso before his call-up on Sunday.
The 27-year-old Maybin hit a shot down the third-base line in his first at-bat, sliding in with a double.
”It’s fun being back in the bigs, being out there with all these guys who I love playing with,” Maybin said. ”Ian pitched his butt off. Fun being behind a guy like that who can command the zone like he does.”
Kennedy (2-3) gave up three hits, struck out nine and walked none in seven innings. He retired 16 straight batters at one stretch.
After giving up back-to-back doubles to Anthony Rendon and Jayson Werth in the first inning, Kennedy allowed only one more hit.
Huston Street closed for his ninth save in nine chances.
”First inning, you’re kind of like a lot of pitchers, you’re trying to feel what’s going to work for that moment,” Kennedy said. ”I feel like I just got ahead of guys more often.”
Kennedy also received strong support in the field.
First baseman Yonder Alonso made two outstanding plays and Will Venable robbed Werth of a potential extra-base hit with a diving catch in the right-field corner.
”It kept fading away. I thought it was a double, for sure,” Kennedy said. ”As soon as he dove, extended, it was a beautiful play.”
It was reversal from Saturday when the Padres had as many errors (three) as hits in a 4-0 loss.
”What a difference 24 hours makes,” San Diego manager Bud Black said. ”I liked the way our guys bounced back. They put yesterday behind them and we won a ballgame on the road against a good team.”
It was a tough day all around for Washington.
Outfielder Bryce Harper was put on the disabled list with a thumb sprain. Starting pitcher Taylor Jordan woke up with a fever and labored through four innings with low velocity. Ross Detwiler (0-1) and Aaron Barrett were ineffective in relief.
”I don’t know if it’s the flu or what,” Nationals manager Matt Williams said of Jordan. ”There was some question as to whether he would even start. Gave him a bag of fluids and he ate something this morning, but fastball velocity was way down, weak out there. So he gave us what he could today.”
Nate McLouth hit his first home run for the Nationals. Starting in left field for Harper, McLouth entered the game with an .097 batting average.
Trailing 1-0 in the fourth, the Padres tied it when Chris Denorfia walked, Yasmani Grandal doubled and Jedd Gyorko had a sacrifice fly.
The go-ahead run came an inning later off Detwiler as Everth Cabrera singled, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on Denorfia’s single.
Singles by Venable, Maybin and pinch-hitter Nick Hundley loaded the bases in the sixth inning. After Barrett fanned Kennedy for the second out, he walked Cabrera on four pitches to force one run home and walked Denorfia on a 3-2 pitch.
Afterward, it was time for the Padres to celebrate the win and Maybin’s return.
”He’s obviously a very dynamic player, capable of doing everything well on the field,” Denorfia said. ”More than anything we really missed him in the clubhouse. We’re really happy to have him back.”
NOTES: To make room for Maybin, the Padres sent pitcher Kevin Quackenbush to Triple-A El Paso. … Nationals RHP Doug Fister made his first of two scheduled rehab starts at Single-A Potomac on Sunday, throwing 59 pitches, including 42 strikes. … Washington will have days off before and after a two-game series at Houston that begins on Tuesday when LHP Gio Gonzalez (3-1, 3.00) faces RHP Jarred Cosart (1-2, 6.12). … San Diego travels to San Francisco for a three-game series starting Monday with RHP Tyson Ross (2-3, 3.16) opposing LHP Madison Baumgarner (2-2, 3.14).