for this game

Morse's HR in ninth boosts Nats over Padres

May 28, 2011 - 6:25 AM Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Michael Morse homered for the fourth straight game, smacking the winning solo shot in the bottom of the ninth to lift Washington to a 2-1 win over the San Diego Padres.

Morse took the first pitch of the frame from Mike Adams (2-1) over the wall in left-center field to snap the Nationals' five-game losing streak.

"It was a great ballgame," Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said. "It was a very nice win. The work that's been going on is paying off for us."

Danny Espinosa added his seventh home run of the season in the victory.

Drew Storen (4-1) suffered his first blown save of the year when Jason Bartlett homered to left on the first pitch of the top of the ninth.

Washington starter John Lannan tossed a gem, going 7 2/3 strong innings giving up only two hits while whiffing five and walking two.

Clayton Richard threw a strong seven innings for the Padres, surrendering only three hits. San Diego lost for the sixth time in seven games.

The game remained scoreless until Washington finally drew first blood in the fifth when Espinosa rocketed Richard's pitch over the left field.

The Nationals threatened to extend their lead in the seventh. Espinosa worked a one-out walk, and after Jerry Hairston Jr. flew out, Brian Bixler was intentionally walked to give Washington runners on first and second with two men down. Lannan followed and smoked a ball to deep right, but Chris Denorfia made a spectacular over-the-shoulder catch to end the inning.

The Padres mounted a threat in the eighth. Alberto Gonzalez roped a two-out single to right and pinch-hitter Brad Hawpe drew a walk to give San Diego two on with two out and chase Lannan from the game. Storen was brought in from the bullpen to bail out the Nats and he promptly fanned Denorfia to end the San Diego threat.

The game was delayed by rain in the top of the fourth inning 47 minutes.

Game Notes

Prior to Friday night's game, the Padres placed second baseman Orlando Hudson on the 15-day disabled list with a left groin strain...Friday's game marked the first matchup between Washington and San Diego this season, the teams split the six game season series last year...Espinosa is the only rookie in the major leagues to lead his team in RBI, as he upped his total to 28...Hairston was ejected in the bottom of the seventh inning...Espinosa stole second in the seventh inning, giving him four out of five successful steals this year.