WASHINGTON (AP) — By the time the 12th inning rolled around, the San Diego Padres were without third baseman Chase Headley — his strained calf could send him to the disabled list — and left fielder Seth Smith, who hurt a groin muscle.
The Padres were on their way to using a total of 20 players, including seven pitchers. Well, seven on the mound, and one in left field. Andrew Cashner briefly filled in for Smith before manager Bud Black made a double-switch.
So it was quite a relief when Xavier Nady delivered a tiebreaking RBI single off Craig Stammen in the top of the 12th to give San Diego a 4-3 victory over the Washington Nationals on Thursday night.
"This was an interesting one, for sure," Black said. "This was one where you really had to be creative as it went along."
Nady, who entered the game in right field in the ninth, bounced a 2-0 fastball up the middle off Stammen (0-1), who was working his third inning.
"I'm the last man standing. Whatever happens, happens. I've got to live with it," Stammen said. "I left it up a little bit, but he put it in a good spot."
Jedd Gyorko singled, stole second and got to third when catcher Jose Lobaton's throw sailed into the outfield for an error, then scored on Nady's hit.
"As soon as I threw the ball," Lobaton said, gritting his teeth, "I was like, 'Ah, that was a bad throw.'"
Alex Torres (1-0) got two outs in the 11th for the win, and Houston Street worked around Bryce Harper's leadoff double in the 12th for his eighth save. The game ended when Lobaton lined out to shortstop Everth Cabrera, who flipped the ball to second base to double off Harper.
"It was sort of ironic that we were sort of worried about Harper stealing third," Black explained, "and so we tried to keep Cabby a little bit tighter to Harper, and sure enough the ball was hit in the hole."
The Nationals went 0 for 16 with runners in scoring position and left 14 men on base. The only 1-2-3 innings for Padres pitching were the second and 11th.
"There's just something in you, when your back's against the wall a little bit, you've got to reach back and really give your best shot and throw your best pitches," said Tim Stauffer, who threw 2 1-3 scoreless innings in relief of Eric Stults. "I think as a whole we were able to do that today."
Continue reading this story on the...