EditorsNote: Tweak on reach in 7th graf
Pinch-hitter Howie Kendrick, Trea Turner, Adam Eaton and Anthony Rendon connected on four straight eighth-inning homers off San Diego reliever Craig Stammen on Sunday afternoon to break a 1-1 tie and lead the visiting Washington Nationals to a 5-2 victory over the Padres.
The four homers came in a span of seven pitches with one out in the eighth. It was the second time in Nationals history that players had connected on four straight home runs, the first being on July 27, 2017, against Milwaukee.
Sunday marked the ninth time in major league history that a team hit four consecutive homers. The Nationals are the only team to do it twice. The Padres are the only team to twice give up four straight homers, also doing so against the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2006.
Kendrick’s one-out, 421-foot drive to left on a 2-and-2 pitch officially broke the tie between Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg (7-3) and the Padres’ game-long group of bullpen pitchers. Stammen (4-3) was the fourth of five relievers deployed by the Padres.
It was Kendrick’s 11th homer of the season.
Turner followed with a 425-foot drive to center on a 1-0 count for his fourth of the season. The count on Eaton was also 1-0 when he connected on a 402-foot drive to center for his sixth homer.
Rendon, who drove in the Nationals’ first run in the first inning on a grounder, hit his 12th homer on a one-strike count, the 391-foot drive reaching the second row in right-center.
The four homers travelled a combined 1,639 feet.
The game started poorly for the Padres.
Turner popped up to very short center on the first pitch thrown by Luis Perdomo. Padres second baseman Ian Kinsler was in position to catch the ball when it popped out of his glove for a two-base error. Turner came around on two ground outs to Kinsler.
Perdomo was the first of four relief pitchers the Padres used against San Diego County native Strasburg, who allowed one run on six hits with six strikeouts over seven innings. Perdomo allowed two hits and an unearned run over 3 1/3 innings. Robbie Erlin allowed a hit in 1 2/3 scoreless innings, and Trey Wingenter issued a walk with a career-high four strikeouts in two hitless innings before San Diego turned to Stammen.
The Padres tied the game in the fourth on a Franmil Reyes single, a Strasburg wild pitch and a two-out single by Kinsler.
The Nationals won the last two games to split the series 2-2 and are 11-4 over their last 15 games. The Padres won the season series 4-3, but finished their longest homestand of the season with a 4-6 mark.
—Field Level Media