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Padres rally, hand Nationals tough loss

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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SAN DIEGO -- Maybe the San Diego Padres found the spark they need to finally secure the NL West title.

Behind dramatic home runs by Khalil Greene and Ramon Hernandez, San Diego scored its most unlikely victory of the season by beating the Washington Nationals 8-5 in 12 innings Saturday night.

"It just doesn't get any better than this," Padres manager Bruce Bochy said.

Greene hit a grand slam to cap a five-run, two-out rally in the ninth inning, and Hernandez had a three-run homer in the 12th inning to give San Diego its second win in seven games.

For a team that leads the NL West with a sub-.500 record and has struggled to distance itself from the rest of the mediocre division, the win was important.

"It was unbelievable, especially coming this time of the year," Hernandez said.

With the victory, San Diego maintained its 5½ game NL West lead over San Francisco, a 2-1 winner over the Los Angeles Dodgers, and reduced its magic number to 10.

The Padres are 73-74, the latest in a season that a team has led a division with a losing record. San Diego has 15 games remaining.

The loss was especially tough for Washington, which fell 3½ games behind Houston in the NL wild-card race with 13 games left.

"We took a huge step backward when it looked like we would gain ground," Nationals manager Frank Robinson said.

Greene led off the 12th with a single, tying his career high with his fourth hit. Pitcher Woody Williams pinch hit and struck out when his bunt attempt with two strikes went foul. Dave Roberts followed with a bloop single to right, with Greene stopping at second. Hernandez then homered on the first pitch from Jon Rauch (1-4) for San Diego's first walkoff homer of the season.

"When I hit it, I had no doubt it was gone," said Hernandez, who hit his 10th home run and was in the center of a prolonged celebration at home plate.

"I messed up," Rauch said. "I hung a curveball, plain and simple."

Scott Linebrink (7-1) pitched two perfect innings for the victory.

The Padres have struggled offensively, scoring three runs or less eight times in 14 September games coming into the game. But San Diego was able to overcome a 5-0 deficit in the ninth to tie the game on Greene's grand slam off Washington closer Chad Cordero.

Greene hit a 1-0 fastball into the left-field stands and was mobbed by his teammates as he approached the San Diego dugout. It was Greene's 12th home run.

"I'm not a big believer in one or two games making a difference in a season," Greene said. "But it was a moment that I'll look back on as the biggest moment of the season."

Eric Young started the rally with a leadoff walk against Jason Bergmann, the first of four Washington pitchers in the ninth. After Bergmann struck out Ramon Hernandez, he was replaced by Joey Eischen, who got one out before allowing a single to Xavier Nady. Travis Hughes came in and allowed Joe Randa's RBI single.

Cordero, the major league leader with 46 saves, replaced Hughes and walked Mark Loretta before giving up Greene's grand slam. Pinch-hitter Ryan Klesko ended the inning with a deep fly out to center.

Cordero has blown seven save chances.

"I just went out and blew it again," Cordero said. "I tried to get the ball away from the plate. It came back over and he made me pay for it."

The Padres' comeback ruined six shutout innings thrown by Hector Carrasco, who was one out away from his first career win as a starter. Carrasco allowed just three hits and Washington took a four-hit shutout into the ninth inning.

Carrasco, starting for only the third time in 559 games, allowed one runner to reach second base. He struck out three and walked one.

It was Carrasco's second straight start after filling in for John Patterson, who fell ill before Tuesday's game against the New York Mets. Carrasco started on late notice Tuesday and did not receive a decision after giving up two runs on three hits in four innings.

Nick Johnson homered and drove in two runs and Preston Wilson hit a solo homer for the Nationals.

Adam Eaton started for the fourth time since coming off the disabled list with a strained right middle finger. Eaton allowed four runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings. The right-hander struck out five and walked two.

Notes

  • Johnson hit his 14th homer leading off the second inning and Wilson hit his 24th homer to lead off the sixth and give the Nationals a 4-0 lead.
  • Before this season, Carrasco's only other start came with Boston when he pitched two innings on Oct. 1, 2000.
  • Greene hit his first career grand slam and it was San Diego's first in the two-year history at Petco Park.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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San Diego's Ramon Hernandez celebrates after hitting a 12th-inning three-run homer off Jon Rauch. (AP)
San Diego's Ramon Hernandez celebrates after hitting a 12th-inning three-run homer off Jon Rauch. (AP)

Players of the Game
San Diego

R. Hernandez
AB 6
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
San Diego

K. Greene
AB 5
R 2
H 4
HR 1
RBI 4
 
Washington Nationals
Brad Wilkerson, LF-1B6020021 .252
Jose Vidro, 2B2011100 .274
    Kenny Kelly, PR0100000 .364
    Mike Stanton, P0000000 .000
    Gary Majewski, P0000000 .000
   a- Carlos Baerga, PH1000001 .252
    Jason Bergmann, P0000000 .333
    Joey Eischen, P0000000 .333
    Travis Hughes, P0000000 .000
    Chad Cordero, P0000000 .000
    Jon Rauch, P1000000 .000
Jose Guillen, RF6011042 .290
Nick Johnson, 1B5132002 .292
    Marlon Byrd, PR-LF1000000 .262
Preston Wilson, CF4121121 .263
Vinny Castilla, 3B5020003 .255
Gary Bennett, C5000015 .212
Cristian Guzman, SS4210101 .208
Hector Carrasco, P2000022 .000
    Deivi Cruz, 2B2000000 .266
Totals44512531118 
a-grounded into a double play for Majewski in the 9th
Batting
2B - Vinny Castilla (34, Eaton)
HR - Nick Johnson (14, Eaton), Preston Wilson (24, Eaton)
SF - Jose Vidro (4)
SH - Hector Carrasco (2)
RBI - Jose Vidro (32), Jose Guillen (75), Nick Johnson 2 (66), Preston Wilson (84)
2-OUT RBI - Jose Guillen (27), Nick Johnson (24)
SB - Kenny Kelly (1, 2nd base off Hammond/Hernandez), Cristian Guzman (5, 2nd base off Eaton/Hernandez)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Guzman-N. Johnson
PB - Gary Bennett (4)
Washington Nationals
Hector Carrasco 6300130 2.01
Mike Stanton 1000020 5.12
Gary Majewski 1100010 2.65
Jason Bergmann 0.1011110 3.46
Joey Eischen 0.1111000 3.45
Travis Hughes0111000 3.60
Chad Cordero (BS,7) 0.1122101 1.84
Jon Rauch (L,1-4) 2.2433031 4.38
Pitches-Strikes - Hector Carrasco 76-53, Mike Stanton 15-11, Gary Majewski 17-11, Jason Bergmann 11-7, Joey Eischen 3-2, Travis Hughes 2-1, Chad Cordero 12-6, Jon Rauch 43-32
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Hector Carrasco 8-6, Gary Majewski 1-1, Jon Rauch 1-4
Batters Faced - Hector Carrasco 21, Mike Stanton 3, Gary Majewski 4, Jason Bergmann 2, Joey Eischen 2, Travis Hughes 1, Chad Cordero 3, Jon Rauch 12
San Diego Padres
Dave Roberts, CF6000013 .262
Eric Young, LF4100120 .278
    Damian Jackson, LF1110000 .249
Ramon Hernandez, C6123011 .289
Brian Giles, RF5000012 .299
Robert Fick, 1B2010001 .289
   a- Xavier Nady, PH-1B3110000 .267
Joe Randa, 3B5121021 .277
Mark Loretta, 2B4100102 .277
Khalil Greene, SS5244000 .251
Adam Eaton, P1000111 .200
    Chris Hammond, P0000000 .000
    Chris Oxspring, P0000000 .000
   b- Mark Sweeney, PH1000011 .302
    Scott Cassidy, P0000000 .000
   c- Ryan Klesko, PH1000000 .250
    Trevor Hoffman, P0000000 .000
    Scott Linebrink, P0000000 .000
   d- Woody Williams, PH1000011 .167
Totals45811831013 
a-fouled out for Fick in the 7th
b-struck out for Oxspring in the 8th
c-flied out for Cassidy in the 9th
d-struck out for Linebrink in the 12th
Batting
2B - Joe Randa (39, Rauch), Khalil Greene (26, Carrasco)
HR - Ramon Hernandez (10, Rauch), Khalil Greene (12, C. Cordero)
RBI - Ramon Hernandez 3 (46), Joe Randa (63), Khalil Greene 4 (59)
2-OUT RBI - Ramon Hernandez 3 (19), Joe Randa (23), Khalil Greene 4 (23)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Greene-Loretta-Fick, Cassidy-Greene-Nady
San Diego Padres
Adam Eaton 5.1844252 4.10
Chris Hammond 1.1111120 3.70
Chris Oxspring 1.1000010 3.75
Scott Cassidy 1100000 8.10
Trevor Hoffman 1200010 3.02
Scott Linebrink (W,7-1) 2000020 2.04
Pitches-Strikes - Adam Eaton 97-66, Chris Hammond 21-13, Chris Oxspring 14-9, Scott Cassidy 14-10, Trevor Hoffman 21-13, Scott Linebrink 22-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Adam Eaton 5-5, Chris Hammond 1-1, Scott Cassidy 1-1, Scott Linebrink 1-3
Batters Faced - Adam Eaton 25, Chris Hammond 6, Chris Oxspring 4, Scott Cassidy 3, Trevor Hoffman 5, Scott Linebrink 6
Game Information
Attendance - 37707
Game Time - 3:45
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Doug Eddings, First Base - Ed Hickox, Second Base - Bill Hohn, Third Base - Bruce Dreckman