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Zimmerman pushes Nats past Padres

Jul 7, 2013 - 3:56 AM Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Ryan Zimmerman singled home the go-ahead run in the seventh inning to lead the Washington Nationals past the San Diego Padres, 5-4, in the middle tilt of a three-game set at Nationals Park.

Bryce Harper had three RBI, Adam LaRoche hit a solo homer and Denard Span went 2-for-3 and with a pair of runs scored for the Nationals, winners in three straight.

Jesus Guzman cracked a three-run homer for the Padres, losers in eight straight.

Nick Vincent (2-1) was pegged with the loss after putting the eventual game- winning run on base in the seventh.

San Diego catcher Yasmani Grandal left the game in the third inning with an apparent right knee injury. Grandal suffered the injury after Nationals second baseman Anthony Rendon slid into his right leg on a play at the plate. Grandal remained on the ground for several minutes before we has carried off the field by the Padres training staff.

The Padres went into the sixth inning trailing 3-1, but Guzman crushed a three-run blast to put the Padres in front. Carlos Quentin and Chase Headley hit back-to-back singles to put two on with one out, chasing Jordan Zimmermann from the game.

Ross Ohlendorf (2-0) came on in relief and promptly served up Guzman's homer, a towering blast to left field.

Washington, though, rallied for a pair of runs in the seventh. Span and Ian Desmond hit back-to-back singles before moving into scoring position on Joe Thatcher's wild pitch. Harper then lifted a sacrifice fly to score Span before Zimmerman ripped a base hit to right field to plate Desmond.

San Diego put two runners on in the ninth with one out, but were unable to cash in on the scoring opportunity. Rafael Soriano got Mark Kotsay to ground out before LaRoche made an incredible diving stab to rob Everth Cabrera of a base hit to end the game. It was Soriano's 24th save of the season.

"Early on during the season, getting used to the way Soriano goes about closing games, it's not blow you away," Desmond said. "He's a guy who pitches to contact and now it's like you think he's among the best closers in the game right now. So whatever it may look like, people's hearts may be beating, but we know what we've got out there, and we've just got to do our job."

The Padres finished the game 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position and left six runners on base.

"Right now, there's a lot of guys doing their part and a couple guys who are having a few hiccups, and it's not out of a lack of effort. Our group is busting their butt. It's great every day. They're really getting after it. This is a tough one, but good for (Guzman). Good for a few other guys, and we'll hang in there," said Padres manager Bud Black.

Washington got on the board in the third after Harper worked a bases-loaded walk, and LaRoche's solo shot in the fourth made it 2-0.

Jason Marquis, who started the game for the Padres, helped his own cause with an RBI base hit in the fifth inning.

Harper roped an RBI single to center in the fifth to score Span.

Game Notes

Zimmermann started for the Nationals and gave up three runs on five hits over 5 1/3 innings. Zimmermann is 14-0 over his last 22 home starts, last losing at Nationals Park on May 17, 1012 to the Pirates ... Span and LaRoche each stole a base .. Desmond went 2-for-4 and with a runs scored ... Marquis was tagged for three runs on eight hits over six innings in the setback.