Adams, Turner, Strasburg lead Nationals over Padres, 8-5
SAN DIEGO (AP) Trea Turner and Stephen Strasburg had done enough to give the Washington Nationals the lead against the San Diego Padres when Matt Adams broke the game open with two majestic home runs.
Adams connected in consecutive innings, Turner went deep in his first at-bat at Petco Park and Strasburg beat his hometown team again, leading the Nationals to an 8-5 victory Monday night.
Adams hit a towering, two-run drive to right field off Tyson Ross in the four-run sixth and a three-run shot to right-center in the seventh off Matt Strahm for an 8-2 lead. He has 10 homers this year. It was his seventh career multihomer game and second in a week after he went deep twice against Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
”It’s huge,” Adams said. ”We go out there and we play the game hard. For me to be able to contribute the way that I’m doing, it means a lot. I think it also means a lot the way the team has bounced back to a little rocky start. We knew all along what this team was capable of doing. It’s been a fun stretch and we plan on keeping it going.”
Said Strasburg: ”Pretty impressive. He’s even showing off the glove, which is not what he’s known for. Matt plays hard and is a great guy to have in the clubhouse. It’s fun to watch.”
Turner, San Diego’s first-round pick in the 2014 draft who never played for the Padres, drove a 1-1 pitch from Ross an estimated 396 feet into the home bullpen in center field with one out in the first inning. It was his third on the season.
”Homers are fun in general. It was nice to put a good swing on the ball,” Turner said. ”It was a good atmosphere, good stadium, good field, it was fun. We got the win, which is the most important thing.
”I think anytime I play them it’s always reminding me that I was there,” he said about facing the Padres. ”Not that it was my decision, but no regrets about anything. Everything’s worked out great for me individually and I’m happy to be a part of this team.”
San Diego made Turner the 13th pick overall in 2014 and then dealt him to Washington – along with Ross’ younger brother, Joe – that December in an 11-player, three-team trade that sent Wil Myers from Tampa Bay to San Diego.
Turner couldn’t head to the Nationals until the following June due to a rule at the time that said a player selected in the amateur draft couldn’t be traded until one year had passed since he signed his initial professional contract.
Joe Ross had Tommy John surgery in July.
”He’s turned out to be a pretty good ballplayer,” Tyson Ross said of Turner. ”He put a good swing on a bad pitch in the first and gave their team the early lead right there.”
Turner walked leading off the four-run sixth and scored the go-ahead run on Anthony Rendon’s double to left. Adams followed with his first homer, Howie Kendrick doubled and Matt Wieters hit an RBI single.
”The leadoff walk, that’s always trouble for the pitcher and after that it was just poor execution with two strikes,” Ross said. ”I made two bad pitches to Rendon and Adams and they made me pay, and then they jumped on two first pitches after that. It kind of steamrolled pretty quick right there and I’ve got to be better with two strikes.”
Strasburg (4-3) improved to 7-2 in nine career starts against the Padres. He allowed three runs and six hits in seven innings, struck out five and walked one.
Strasburg went to West Hills High in suburban Santee and then pitched at San Diego State under Tony Gwynn before going to the Nationals as the top pick overall in the 2009 draft.
”We won a nice game tonight,” manager Dave Martinez said. ”Nice to see Strasburg do what he did. He ran out of gas a little bit at the end but he pitched really well.”
Ross (2-3) permitted five runs and six hits in six innings.
Jose Pirela had three hits and drove in a run for San Diego. Right fielder Travis Jankowski made a nice play against the wall to rob Bryce Harper of an extra-base hit to end the eighth.
Padres: Reinstated Strahm from the 10-day disabled list. He was acquired in a six-player trade with Kansas City on July 24, just 2 1/2 weeks after undergoing surgery for a torn patellar tendon in his left knee. He pitched one inning in relief during spring training and made nine rehab appearances, including two starts, with Double-A San Antonio.
Nationals: RHP Jeremy Hellickson (0-0, 3.00 ERA) is scheduled to make his fifth start of the season Tuesday night.
Padres: LHP Clayton Richard (1-4, 6.21) looks to rebound after allowing a season-high seven runs, six earned, in his last start, a 9-4 loss at San Francisco on Wednesday.
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