WASHINGTON (AP) — Thanks to their pitching, the San Diego Padres have hovered around the .500 mark despite having the second-lowest batting average in the National League.
On Friday night, their hurlers didn't give them a chance. Three San Diego pitchers surrendered 17 hits as the Washington Nationals clubbed the Padres 11-1.
"I think tonight was a function of three (young) pitchers not commanding their fastball," manager Bud Black said. "You've got to command your fastball in this league and if you don't, major league hitters are going to have you pay."
San Diego's Robbie Erlin (1-3) was the primary victim, allowing eight runs and 13 hits over 5 1-3 innings. He struck out three and walked two.
"Everything was elevated and I worked behind most of the night," Erlin said, "so put those two together, kind of put me in some holes and let runners on and they got a few big hits."
Rookies Kevin Quackenbush, in his major league debut, and Donn Roach allowed three runs in 2 2-3 innings of relief.
Everth Cabrera had three hits for the Padres.
Bryce Harper drove in a career-high four runs before leaving the game with a jammed thumb, and Stephen Strasburg pitched seven scoreless innings for the Nationals.
Harper drove in a run with an infield single in the first and had a bases-loaded triple in the third. Following his headfirst dive into third base on the triple, Harper flexed his left wrist.
"I slid into the bag and I caught it a little bit," he said of his thumb. "Went into the dugout, swung a couple in the cage, felt fine. Went out to the outfield, it swelled up a little bit. So (up 6-0) I thought we were in a good spot, and (manager) Matt (Williams) did too, so I got in and got some treatment on it."
He was replaced in left field by Nate McLouth to start the fifth inning.
Williams said X-rays were negative and Harper would be re-evaluated Saturday.
Strasburg (2-2) allowed seven hits and walked two, but struck out 11. He lowered his ERA from 5.33 to 4.24.
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