Takeaways from the Padres’ 4-0 loss to the Nationals

SAN DIEGO– Jeremy Hellickson drove in a run with an RBI double and flirted with a perfect game, Matt Adams continued his torrid hitting, and the Nationals shut out the Padres 4-0 on Tuesday night at Petco Park.

Washington improved to 20-17 while San Diego fell to 13-24.

Takeaways

Hellickson flirts with perfection

Four days removed from getting no-hit in Mexico, the Padres went six full innings on Tuesday evening without recording a baserunner off of Nationals starter Jeremy Hellickson.

The right-hander’s bid for history went awry when RF Travis Jankowski singled up the middle to open the 7th. After another single by Franchy Cordero with two out in the same inning, Hellickson was removed for reliever Ryan Madson.

Madson promptly retired Jose Pirela on a ground ball to short, protecting Hellickson’s shutout. All in all, the 31-year-old fired 6 2/3 innings, striking out eight and allowing only two hits in his best outing of the season. He did not walk a batter.

Clayton Richard eats up innings

While he will be overshadowed by Hellickson, the Padres’ left-hander pitched well. He threw eight solid innings while pounding the zone constantly; throwing 72 of his 102 pitches for strikes.

Most of the damage off Richard came in the fifth, when three straight hits by the Nationals netted two runs. Howie Kendrick led off the inning with a base hit. Red-hot Matt Adams doubled home Kendrick from first, and then Pedro Severino grounded a base hit past the Padres’ drawn in infield to make the score 2-0.

The Nationals added their third run off of Richard on a two-out double by pitcher Jeremy Hellickson in the seventh.

This was more of the Clayton Richard that manager Andy Green and the Padres have come to expect. He will allow his hits, but the southpaw was brought here (and given his extension late last season) to eat innings. He did that tonight.

Falling behind early 

The Padres fell to 2-22 when the opposing team scores first.

San Diego is also an MLB-best 11-1 when they score first.

Villanueva continues to scuffle

The rookie of the month for April is currently riding an 0-24 slide and is 1-25 in the month of May. His only hit (a home run in San Francisco) in May came in his first at bat of the month.

Home blues

The Padres are now 5-14 at Petco Park this season.