Published May 18, 2013
| Sports Network
San Diego, CA – Chad Tracy hit a pinch-hit, two-out solo homer in the top of the 10th inning to propel the Washington Nationals past the San Diego Padres, 6-5, Friday in the second installment of a four-game series at Petco Park.
Tracy, who last hit a home run on May 14th, 2012 against the Padres, smacked a solo shot off Huston Street (0-3) following a two-run, two-out rally from San Diego in the bottom of the ninth which sent the game to extras.
Adam LaRoche recorded his 21st career multi-homer game and finished with four RBI and Ryan Zimmerman added a solo shot in the victory.
LaRoche, who homered in his third straight game, also extended his hitting streak to 14 games. The Nationals, meanwhile, have won seven of their last eight in San Diego.
"He's been on fire. He had a huge night tonight, but he's been swinging the bat well for a couple of weeks now," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said.
Rafael Soriano picked up the win, despite blowing the save in the ninth and allowing two runs -- both of which were unearned -- on three hits. Drew Storen worked around two singles in the 10th the secure his first save of the season.
Facing Soriano in the ninth trailing, 5-3, the Padres rallied.
Chris Denorfia, who reached with one out following Zimmerman's throwing error, advanced to second on indifference, and scored on Chase Headley's RBI single to right to make it 5-4. Pinch-hitter Yonder Alonso singled to right, moving Headley to third before Kyle Blanks again singled through the right side to tie the game at 5-5 and send it to extras.
Washington Starter Gio Gonzalez allowed San Diego's first three runs -- two earned -- and struck out five over 6 2/3 innings of work.
In his last outing, a disappointing 2-1 loss to Chicago on Sunday, the lefty carried a perfect game into the sixth, only to see the Washington bullpen give up all of the Cubs' runs after he exited in the seventh. It was almost the same situation had it not been for Tracy's clutch homer.
"I was trying to hit something hard, trying not to think too much. He threw the changeup again and left it up a little bit," Tracy said.
Padres starter Burch Smith gave up five runs on six hits -- including three Washington homers -- and struck out eight over 5 1/3 innings.
"It's a learning experience for our young pitcher," Padres manager Bud Black said. "There's still a lot to like. There's a lot to like in a short glimpse to me. He'll get there."
San Diego took a 2-0 lead in the first inning thanks to a single and an error.
Gonzalez issued his second walk of the frame, this time to Jesus Guzman, to put runners on first and second with two outs. Blanks followed with an RBI line drive to center, easily scoring Everth Cabrera, but Guzman crossed home on Bryce Harper's throwing error from right field to third.
LaRoche erased Washington's deficit on one swing in the fourth. Harper and Zimmerman hit back-to-back singles and the left-handed LaRoche clubbed Smith's 0-1 pitch to center for a three-run shot and 3-2 Nationals lead.
Zimmerman got to Smith in the fifth with an opposite field solo shot to make it 4-2. LaRoche, though, responded with his second homer of the game, another shot to center, for back-to-back jacks and a 5-2 Washington advantage. It was LaRoche's second multi-homer game this season.
Gonzalez's only other fault came one inning later, as Jedd Gyorko cut the Padres' deficit to 5-3 with a solo blast to center.
It was the first time this season that the Nationals hit back-to-back homers ... Gyorko's homer snapped a streak of 69 consecutive innings tossed by Nationals pitchers without allowing a home run ... Harper entered the game with three career hits against the Padres - all of which had been home runs ... It was Tracy's seventh career pinch-hit homer ... Blanks had two RBI for San Diego.