AP Sports Writer
SAN DIEGO (AP) – With 33-year-old Edwin Jackson mostly frustrating the San Diego Padres for seven innings, Ryan Zimmerman and the rest of the Washington Nationals figured out a way to win on just four hits.
Zimmerman homered with two outs in the eighth inning to lift the NL East-leading Nationals to a 2-1 victory Thursday night, giving Jackson his first win against one of his old teams in seven tries.
Zimmerman homered to right field on 1-1 pitch from Kirby Yates (2-4), who struck out the first two batters of the inning. It was Zimmerman’s 29th. Yates then struck out Adam Lind to end the inning.
“We weren’t having very good at-bats, I guess,” Zimmerman said. “It’s going to happen every now and then. Edwin kind of kept us in it. Obviously we had some chances early; hit a couple balls hard and didn’t really get much for it. You’ve got to those out. Those are the kind of games that when you win them, you feel like you kind of stole it.”
The homer made a winner of Jackson (4-2), who pitched for the Padres for part of last season. He allowed one run and eight hits in seven innings, struck out four and walked one.
“What stands out to me is his arm is still fresh and strong while he’s figured it out,” manager Dusty Baker said. “A lot of times guys figure it out after they hurt their arms and they lose their stuff. But he’s been fortunate enough to stay healthy.”
Zimmerman was impressed, too.
“You don’t hang around this league as long as he has without being able to pitch,” he said. “He still has the stuff. And just the experience he has. He knows how to pitch, mixes it up. He’s fun to play behind.”
Jackson called it “a well-executed team game.”
“They came out aggressive. We were able to get out of some jams, make some pitches, get some double plays, some nice defense on the mistakes I made. Zim came through for the rescue and the bullpen comes in. It was good to get a win after this kind of game.”
Manager Andy Green thought the Padres could have capitalized a few times against Jackson. “He left some pitches in the middle of the plate, and we didn’t. From my perspective Edwin was pretty solid today. Usually if he’s commanding the ball, not walking people, he’s got good stuff. And his slider was real.”
Sean Doolittle pitched the ninth for his 10th save.
The Padres were coming off a three-game sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies, the NL East cellar dwellers who have the worst record in the majors.
San Diego starter Jhoulys Chacin loaded the bases twice in the third inning on just one hit but the Nationals scored only once, on Lind’s sacrifice fly. Chacin hit Anthony Rendon with a pitch to re-load the bases and then got Matt Wieters to ground out to end the inning. He hit two batters in the inning.
San Diego tied it in the bottom of the inning when Manuel Margot hit a leadoff double and scored on Jose Pirela’s one-out single.
Chacin went five innings, allowing one run and three hits while striking out six and walking four.
There were three generations of Boones at the game – Bob, Bret and Jake. Bob Boone, who played at San Diego’s Crawford High and was a four-time All-Star during his 19 big league seasons as a catcher, is a Nationals vice president and senior adviser to the general manager. Bret played for the Padres in 2000 during his 14-year career, when he was an All-Star three times. Bret’s son Jake played at San Diego’s Torrey Pines High and now will play at Princeton. Bob Boone’s father, Ray, went to San Diego’s Hoover High and was a two-time All-Star in his 14-year career. The Boones are one of just four three-generation baseball families. Bret’s brother Aaron also was an All-Star in his big league career.
Nationals: RHP Shawn Kelley was reinstated from the disabled list after missing 51 games with a right trapezius strain. He made eight rehab appearances with Triple-A Syracuse, going 1-1 with an 8.10 ERA. RHP Ryan Madson was placed on the 10-day DL, retroactive to Monday, with a right finger sprain.
Nationals: RHP Max Scherzer (12-5, 2.25) is coming off a 10-strikeout performance in a no-decision against San Francisco. He hasn’t dropped a decision since June 21.
Padres: RHP Luis Perdomo (6-7, 4.95) has thrown at least six innings in each of his last five starts.
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