MacKenzie Gore, Nationals get best of Padres

MacKenzie Gore, Nationals get best of Padres


Jun 25, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher MacKenzie Gore (1) throws a pitch against the San Diego Padres during the second inning at Petco Park.
Image: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Left-hander MacKenzie Gore made a triumphant return to San Diego and Jeimer Candelario and Joey Meneses each drove in three runs as the visiting Washington Nationals defeated the Padres 8-3 on Sunday in the rubber match of a three-game series

After pinch hitter Gary Sanchez struck out with the bases loaded to end the bottom of the sixth, Washington turned two throwing errors by Padres reliever Tim Hill into five unearned runs in the top of the seventh

Candelario and Meneses each had a two-run double during the decisive seventh.

Gore (4-6) ended a personal five-decision losing streak. He gave up one run on five hits and two walks with nine strikeouts in five innings.

Gore, who went to Washington along with starting Nationals shortstop CJ Abrams last August in the trade that sent Juan Soto to the Padres, set a Nationals franchise record by striking out the first six hitters he faced to start the game

The Nationals took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Candelario drove his 10th homer of the season into the stands in right center off Padres starter Seth Lugo. The Padres tied the game in the bottom of the fifth on a two-out RBI single by Fernando Tatis Jr

Washington opened the top of the sixth with three straight singles, including Meneses’ run-scoring base hit. Candelario then scored on pinch hitter Stone Garrett’s sacrifice fly to right. Lugo (3-4) gave up three runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and no walks in five-plus innings.

With one out in the top of the seventh, Derek Hill hit a comebacker to Tim Hill, whose throw pulled first baseman Jake Cronenworth off the bag. Tim Hill then hit Abrams with a pitch ahead of an RBI single by Lane Thomas that made it 4-1. Tim Hill then fielded a comebacker by Luis Garcia and again made a wild throw to first, loading the bases.

Candelario doubled to right center, scoring Abrams and Thomas. Meneses doubled to left, scoring Garcia and Candelario.

Ha-Seong Kim led off the bottom of the seventh with a homer off Jordan Weems. San Diego scored a final run in the ninth after a double by Brandon Dixon and a two-out RBI single by Soto.

–Field Level Media


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Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.