Espinosa's fly lifts Nationals over Padres 2-0
- San Diego Padres catcher Nick Hundley blocks the plate as he tags out Washington Nationals' Laynce Nix who was trying to score from third on an infield ground ball in the eighth inning of a scoreless baseball game Sunday, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
SAN DIEGO (AP) - Danny Espinosa hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the ninth inning in the Washington Nationals' 2-0 win over the San Diego Padres on Sunday.
Espinosa got robbed of an extra-base hit when right fielder Chris Denorfia made a leaping catch against the short right-field porch. But pinch-runner Brian Bixler scored anyway.
The Nationals took three of four to win the franchise's first series in San Diego since 2001. It was also Washington's first three-game road winning streak since April 2010.
With one out, the Nationals got a pinch-hit single from Matt Stairs off Heath Bel (2-3). Bixler replaced him at first and went to second on Alex Cora's single. Jayson Werth drew a full-count walk before Espinosa's sacrifice fly.
Laynce Nix followed with an RBI single to right, but Werth was thrown out trying to score by Denorfia.
Todd Coffey (2-0) pitched one inning and Drew Storen pitched the ninth for his 15th save in 16 chances to combine with Jordan Zimmermann on a five-hitter.
It was 11th time the Padres have been shut out this season, tops in the majors.
Two of the NL's worst offensive teams combined to score seven runs in the final three games of the four-game set.
Zimmermann gave up four hits over seven innings. Zimmerman struck out 10, walked one and had a hit batter. Zimmermann has allowed just two runs over 21 innings of his last three starts.
San Diego's Tim Stauffer allowed five hits in seven innings with four strikeouts, three walks and hit two batters. The right-hander was coming off a career-high eight-inning effort where he struck out a career-best eight batters in a 2-0 win over Colorado on Tuesday.
Each team had good scoring chances, although the Nationals stranded nine runners. Washington was 13 for 91 with runners in scoring position over its season-longest 11-game road trip.
The Nationals loaded the bases with one out in the first inning but Stauffer got Wilson Ramos to bounce into a double play.
In the seventh, Washington had runners on second and third with one out. Stauffer got Jason Werth to hit a line drive right at shortstop Jason Bartlett, then struck out Danny Espinosa.
San Diego's biggest threat was in the second when they had bases loaded with one out on a walk and two singles. Zimmerman escaped damage with consecutive strikeouts against Alberto Gonzalez and Stauffer.
The Padres, 14-26 at home, finished their season-longest 11-game homestand with a 5-6 record.
NOTES: The Nationals set a franchise record in the third inning by reaching 97 2-3 innings without an error. That broke the mark set by the Montreal Expos in August 1977. ... Werth was in the leadoff spot with the pitcher hitting in the No. 8 slot for the second straight game. ... Stauffer threw a career-high 111 pitches.
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