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PETCO Park, San Diego, California Attendance: 22,097
Spangenberg, Padres aim to keep rolling vs. Nats
Washington Nationals at San Diego Padres
- The Nationals lost, 3-2, at home to the Angels yesterday, splitting the two-game series, and finishing up a nine-game homestand with a mark of 6-3. Washington is 10-3 (.769) on the road against NL West clubs in 2017 -- best of any team in the National League.
- Clayton Richard recorded his third career complete-game shutout yesterday, leading the Padres to a 3-0 victory over the Phillies at Petco Park. Including a three-game sweep of Philadelphia, San Diego is now 10-5 (.667) at home since the 2017 All-Star break.
- Washington took two of three from San Diego in these clubs' first meeting of the year at Nationals Park (May 26-28). Dating to the beginning of last season, the Nats and Padres have played 10 times, each team winning five of those games.
- Edwin Jackson went 6.0 innings and allowed just one run last Saturday against the Giants, earning the victory, and improving to 3-2 with a 3.30 ERA in five starts with the Nats. Jackson is 0-6 with a 7.16 ERA in 10 career starts vs. the Padres.
- Jhoulys Chacin allowed one run in 5.0 IP last Saturday against the Dodgers, but was saddled with his fifth no-decision of the season for the effort. Chacin is 3-0 with a 2.63 ERA in his last five starts vs. the Nationals.
- Wil Myers stole second, third and home in the fourth inning yesterday, becoming the first player to swipe every base in an inning since Dee Gordon did so on July 1, 2011. Myers (24 HR, 14 SB) is one of six MLB players who leads his team in both home runs and stolen bases this season.
- Out as prez, advisor Hart leaves Braves
- Yanks interview ESPN's Boone for manager
- A's hire Matt Williams as 3rd base coach
- 5 minor leaguers receive drug bans
- Astros' Altuve, Miami's Stanton win MVPs
SAN DIEGO -- The Washington Nationals kick off a four-game series with the San Diego Padres on Thursday. That means one of baseball's hottest players will be in America's Finest City.
"It's just his energy," Padres manager Andy Green said. "The way he flies down the line, the way he flies around from first to third. He never takes a play off, and he's always locked in. I think it's those kinds of things fans appreciate a great deal. It's fun to show up and watch him play baseball."
Is Green talking about Nationals All-Star Bryce Harper?
Nope. Try the Padres' Cory Spangenberg.
While Harper is on the shelf with a bum knee, Spangenberg continues to shine.
"He's done a great job for us," Green said.
Spangenberg remade his swing, ditching his line-drive-based approach. Instead, he is shooting for the fences. His bat angle is different when making contact, and his results have flipped, too.
After hitting three homers in his past four games, Spangenberg has already has set a career high with 12. In the second half of the season, he has become one of the Padres' more reliable sluggers.
"When he stays committed to a small zone, he can take a very aggressive pass, and when he squares the baseball up, he is very good about that," Green said. "His struggles are when he gets above the zone and behind the zone."
Spangenberg leads a lineup facing former Padre Edwin Jackson (3-2, 3.86 ERA). Jackson went 5-6 for San Diego last year and he could be a comforting sight for his former teammates.
Jackson, who has won two of his past three starts, has gone 0-6 with a 6.63 ERA in his career against the Padres (54-66). However, he was keen against the San Francisco Giants on Saturday, recording six quality innings after escaping an early jam. He allowed one run on five hits in a 3-1 win.
"(It) was definitely one of those 'dig deep and see what you're made of' days," Jackson told MLB.com. "I was fortunate enough to come out with good results and also help out the bullpen at the same time with a solid six innings. It's one of those days when you really don't have your best stuff."
While the Nationals' best player, Harper, is idle, Green agrees that Jhoulys Chacin (11-8, 4.06) has quite a task in front of him Thursday. Chacin is 3-2 in his career against the Nationals with a 3.43 ERA.
He won three of his past four decisions, although he didn't get one his last time out on Saturday versus the Los Angeles Dodgers. Chacin went five innings and surrendered only one run on four hits against a vaunted offense. He will see another one when he opposes the Nationals (71-47), though Washington fell 3-2 Wednesday against the Los Angeles Angels.
"That's a really good lineup, it's a long lineup with a lot of really good players that makes it a really good team," Green said. "Obviously, Bryce is out now and that changes it a little bit. But Daniel Murphy is as dangerous as anybody in the game.
"They got speed still. They got power. They got hitters. They have been the best team in the NL East for some time now."
The rebuilding Padres don't mind playing David to the Nationals' Goliath. San Diego recently played the surging Dodgers tough when talking one game in a three-game set. The Padres are also coming off a three-game sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies, capped by a 3-0 win Wednesday.
"It will be a fun challenge for our guys," Green said of facing Washington. "I like how we played in a hostile park at Dodger Stadium. I expect us to play just as good here, if not better."
Updated August 16, 2017
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Published: 2015-05-28 13:51:00
Updated: 2016-07-13 10:41:59
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