San Diego, CA – Everth Cabrera hit the go-ahead RBI single in the eighth inning and Eric Stults outlasted Washington starter Jordan Zimmermann in a pitchers' duel, as the San Diego Padres downed the Nationals, 2-1, in the third installment of a four-game set at Petco Park.
Stults (4-3) tossed eight stellar frames, allowing just one run and four hits, while striking out five for the Padres, who dropped the first two games of the series. Yonder Alonso added a homer in the victory.
"We were, again, not real patient," Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche said. "He (Stults) was throwing that changeup down and away, slow curveball, slider, spotting the heater."
One night after absorbing a heartbreaking, 6-5, loss in the 10th, Huston Street picked up his 10th save of the season, despite walking two batters in the ninth.
Steve Lombardozzi tied the game in the sixth with an RBI single for the Nationals. Zimmermann (7-2) lasted eight innings, allowing seven hits and two runs -- one earned -- and fanned six, though it was his error in the eighth which kept alive San Diego's rally to score the eventual game-winner.
With one down and Alexi Amarista on first base, Zimmermann tried a pickoff throw, but his errant toss to first allowed Amarista to advance to second. Cabrera made Zimmermann pay, as he ripped a single up the middle for the difference-maker.
With Zimmermann still on the hill entering the eighth, the Padres broke a 1-1 tie thank's to the right-hander's error.
Amarista, who pinch-hit for Stults, reached first on a bunt fielder's choice to make it one out. Zimmermann's pickoff attempt went wide of LaRoche and advanced Amarista before Cabrera changed the game on one swing.
From the start, it was clear both pitchers brought their best effort, while each team's offenses took a back seat.
The only scoring early on came from Alonso, who led off the second with a shot down the right field line. The lefty crushed Zimmermann's inside 1-0 offering over the wall.
Stults, meanwhile, stifled the Nationals' lineup and failed to allow a hit through the first five innings. The first batter he faced in the sixth, however, Kurt Suzuki, singled to right.
"When he's on like he was on tonight, it's fun to play behind him." Padres second baseman Jedd Gyorko said.
It would be the least of the left-hander's problems of the frame.
Suzuki advanced to second on Zimmermann's sacrifice bunt. Following Denard Span's fly out to center, Lombardozzi then tied the game with a single to right.
"That's a game that Stults is capable of," San Diego manager Bud Black said. "I thought the inside fastball was extremely effective. Especially to right- handed hitters and I thought he had a really good change. So the fastball - change combo was outstanding."
The Padres reinstated outfielder Carlos Quentin from the paternity list and optioned pitcher Brad Brach to Triple-A Tucson on Saturday ... LaRoche's single in the seventh extended his hitting streak to 15 games ... Zimmermann, who threw his third complete game of the season, was also looking to become the MLB's first eight-game winner ... The game lasted 2 hours and 1 minute ... It was the shortest Padres game at Petco Park since August 23, 2005.