May 23, 2018 / 2:37 AM / in a month

Taylor's walk-off hit leads Nats past Padres

Michael A. Taylor hit a walk-off double with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning that gave the Washington Nationals a 2-1 victory over the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night at Nationals Park.

The Nationals banged out four homers in a 10-2 victory over the Padres in the series opener on Monday night, but Washington couldn’t find nearly as much offense in this game.

But the Nationals got just enough for the win in the ninth inning. Rookie Juan Soto started the inning with a walk against Mark Strahm (0-2).

Soto moved to second when Wilmer Difo grounded to third baseman Cory Spangenberg, who momentarily dropped the ball, which forced him to throw to first for the out.

Taylor followed by capping an eight-pitch at-bat with a double off the wall in center that easily scored Soto from second.

Sean Doolittle (2-2) earned the victory after pitching the ninth, striking out the side.

Washington starter Jeremy Hellickson took a perfect game into the seventh inning versus the Padres on May 8 in San Diego. This time, he allowed one run on five hits in 5 1/3 innings but came away with a no-decision.

He left in the sixth inning with what looked like a blister problem on his throwing hand.

Eric Lauer of San Diego turned in one of his best starts this season. Lauer allowed one run on six hits and struck out seven in six innings, but like Hellickson, the left-hander ended up with a no-decision.

San Diego took the lead in the fourth on Franchy Cordero’s leadoff homer against Hellickson.

The Nationals tied the game when Bryce Harper homered to center off Lauer in the fifth — the second straight game in which the right fielder has hit a home run.

The Padres almost took the lead in the sixth when Franmil Reyes singled with Jose Pirela on second. Pirela was originally ruled safe at home, just beating the throw from the center fielder Taylor, but Washington challenged the tag play, and the call was reversed.

—Field Level Media

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