WASHINGTON (AP) — After his Washington Nationals went 0 for 16 with runners in scoring position and left 14 men on base, manager Matt Williams repeated the words "opportunity" and "opportunities" and "chance" and "chances" over and over.
His point was that, eventually, scoring will come.
Not on this night.
Accumulating 16 hits Thursday night but unable to put enough together, the Nationals lost to the San Diego Padres 4-3 in 12 innings on Xavier Nady's go-ahead RBI single off Craig Stammen.
"Opportunities are there," Williams said. "It didn't happen. Just keep providing ourselves those opportunities, it will happen for us."
There were only two innings in which Padres pitchers retired the Nationals 1-2-3. A perfect example of the sort of thing that went wrong for Washington came in the bottom of the 12th, which Bryce Harper started with a double.
After pinch hitter Tyler Moore struck out against Padres closer Houston Street, Jose Lobaton hit a liner that shortstop Everth Cabrera caught. He then 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," San Diego manager Bud 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."
Street got his eighth save. Alex Torres (1-0) got two outs in the 11th for the win.
"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."
Looking at it from Washington's perspective, Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa said: "It's easy to press. You want to come through for your team."
He hit a solo homer in the sixth, and Adam LaRoche added one in the seventh to help Washington pull even after trailing 3-1.
But the Padres never did let the Nationals go ahead from there.
In the top of the 12th, former Nationals outfielder Xavier Nady provided the go-ahead run with a single off Craig Stammen (0-1).