Nationals 8, Padres 5

Washington manager Davey Johnson has seen these kinds of games

from the Nationals offense.

This time he thinks they’ll sustain it.

Wilson Ramos drove in three runs, Gio Gonzalez won his third

straight start and the Washington Nationals defeated the San Diego

Padres 8-5 Friday night.

Jayson Werth had three hits and Denard Span added a two-run

double for Washington, which has won two straight, scoring eight

runs and getting at least 10 hits in each game.

”I like the way the lineup is swinging the bat really. They’re

good at-bats, quality at-bats,” Johnson said. ”That’s what I’ve

been looking for. It takes the pressure off everybody in the

lineup. They feel like they can stay within themselves and not try

to do too much.”

Ramos has driven in eight runs in two games since coming off the

disabled list on Thursday.

”He kind of got us going early today and he’s been a big impact

so far these last two games,” Span said of Ramos.

One hitter not thriving is Bryce Harper. The left fielder went 0

for 4 with a sacrifice fly Friday night and is 1 for 19 since his

return.

Johnson said he’ll probably give Harper a couple of days off

this weekend.

”He expects a lot of himself and I think coming back from that

long layoff he’s just not as relaxed as he likes,” Johnson said.

”He’s probably not at 100 percent physically either. It’s a good

time (to rest him) before we go on the road trip.”

Chase Headley homered, doubled and drove in two runs, and Carlos

Quentin had a three-run homer for the Padres, who’ve lost seven

straight, but scored more than two runs for the first time in that

stretch.

Gonzalez (6-3) went 6 2-3 innings, allowing three runs and eight

hits while striking out five and walking one. He allowed a

first-inning run and pitched out of a jam in the second when he

struck out three straight with runners on second and third.

”It was just one of those days you have to battle through, but

defense came through and offense was as wonderful as it gets,”

Gonzalez said. ”They were up there getting runs and producing them

and my job was just trying to keep them in the game as much as

possible.”

He went through a six-game stretch during which the Nationals

scored two runs or fewer, but is now getting good run support.

Washington has scored 25 runs in his past three starts.

Gonzalez left with an 8-2 lead and a runner on first with two

outs in the seventh. Chris Denorfia (3 for 4) singled off reliever

Craig Stammen and Carlos Quentin hit Stammen’s first pitch into the

seats beyond the visitor’s bullpen to make it 8-5.

Tyler Clippard pitched the eighth and Rafael Soriano the ninth

for his 23rd save.

Padres starter Andrew Cashner (5-4) had his worst outing of this

season, lasting just two innings while giving up six runs and five

hits. He had three walks and no strikeouts.

The Nationals trailed 1-0 when Ryan Zimmerman singled to lead

off the second inning. With one out and a 3-2 count, Werth fouled

off four pitches before singling to left. Werth is 6 for 7 in two

games hitting in the No. 6 spot in the lineup with Ian Desmond

moving to the second spot.

”I think he likes that,” Johnson said when asked if Werth

likes having an inning to watch the opposing pitcher. ”I think he

also likes the fact that at five or six, you’re generally going to

have a lot of guys on and he’s more aggressive when he’s in that

spot. And I like that about him.”

After Anthony Rendon walked to load the bases, Ramos grounded a

single to left, scoring Zimmerman and Werth. Gonzalez was hit by a

pitch and Span doubled down the right-field line scoring two more

runs.

”The inning just snowballed on (Cashner). Just didn’t make many

good pitches,” Padres manager Bud Black said. ”Tonight every good

pitch that he did throw, they fought it off or took it. Every

borderline pitch they took for ball. They had some really good at

bats.”

Harper drove in the fifth run with a sacrifice fly.

”We have a deep lineup and it definitely puts pressure on

opposing pitchers,” Span said of the big inning. ”We should be

able to do that. It was definitely fun. I love getting up five or

six times a game.”

Headley homered in the third to make it 5-2.

Ramos singled home LaRoche in the bottom of the third.

In the fourth, Ian Desmond scored on a LaRoche single and

Zimmerman scored on a Werth groundout to make it 8-2.

The Padres took a 1-0 lead in the first when Denorfia doubled

and scored on a two-out double by Headley.

NOTES: Headley is hitting .377 for his career at Nationals Park.

… The Padres activated Cabrera (strained left hamstring) from the

15-day DL Friday. He started and went 0 for 5. To make room for

him, the Padres optioned RHP Burch Smith to Triple A Tucson. …

Washington RHP Ryan Mattheus (broken right hand) threw from the

mound for the first time since going on the DL May 22. … Padres

RHP Jason Marquis (9-4, 3.74) opposes Jordan Zimmermann (12-3,

2.46) Saturday.