SAN DIEGO (AP) - After losing to Stephen Strasburg on Thursday night and then blowing an extra-inning game Friday night, the San Diego Padres righted themselves rather nicely against the defending NL East champion Washington Nationals.
Andrew Cashner pitched 6 2-3 strong innings and Kyle Blanks and Will Venable homered off Dan Haren to lead the Padres to a 13-4 victory Sunday and a split of their four-game series.
``It's huge. They have probably one of the best rotations in baseball, let alone lineups,' Cashner said. `'That's a really, really good team over there. After we lost the first two we definitely played better the last two games.'
After Eric Stults outpitched Jordan Zimmermann on Saturday night, the Padres got to Haren early on Sunday. The Padres tied their season high in runs and their 15 hits against four Nationals pitchers were two short of their season high.
``It was good to bounce back in beating Zimmermann, who is arguably the best pitcher in the National League right now. That was a big win last night,' San Diego manager Bud Black said.
``Then to come back today against Haren, who's a great competitor. We got to him early and got him there in the middle part of the game with a couple big swings. Good for our guys. It was a good win.'
San Diego's Yonder Alonso homered off Drew Storen leading off the eighth to finish 3 for 4 with two RBIs and three runs scored. It was his sixth homer.
Everth Cabrera and rookie Jedd Gyorko each had two hits, two RBIs and two runs scored. Cabrera had three stolen bases to give him a major league-leading 18.
``We're swinging really good right now and we're seeing the ball so good right now,' Cabrera said. ``It feels great. I'm happy.'
Cashner (3-2) allowed three runs and seven hits, struck out six and walked one.
He retired the first seven Nationals batters and the Padres jumped on Haren for three runs in the first.
``Cash carried that momentum all the way through the game,' Black said. ``I thought he did a nice job with the fastball-change combination. He wobbled very little. I thought he was in control of the game and pitched very well.'
The Nationals have lost six of nine.
Haren (4-5) got off to a rough start by allowing three runs in the first inning and was gone after the fourth-run fifth. Haren allowed nine hits while striking out five and walking two.
With the Padres leading 3-2, Venable opened the fifth with a shot deep into the stands in right field, his sixth. Haren retired the next two batters before Alonso doubled to left-center and scored on Gyorko's single to left.
Blanks then lined Haren's next pitch an estimated 383 feet off the side of the Western Metal Supply Co. brick warehouse in the left-field corner for a 7-2 lead. It was his third.
``Way too many mistakes,' Haren said. ``I didn't feel good out there. I didn't have much. I made a bunch of mistakes in the first inning. I kept it close for a while but you can't keep leaving balls out over the plate to a professional lineup. I kept fighting myself. I was working behind in the count too much, which is a recipe for disaster.'
The Padres scored three runs against Haren in the first on three hits and a walk. Carlos Quentin and Gyorko had RBI doubles and Alonso a sacrifice fly.
The Nationals pulled to 3-2 in the fourth on Ryan Zimmerman's two-run homer that went an estimated 414 feet into the second deck in left, his third. Steve Lombardozzi was aboard on a leadoff infield single after his hard smash went off Cashner's glove. Cashner was knocked backward by the impact. He stayed in the game.
The Padres scored five runs on four hits, two walks and a sacrifice fly off Ryan Mattheus in the seventh. Cabrera had a two-run single.
``Very disappointing,' Washington manager Davey Johnson said. ``I hate to even talk about that one today. We didn't pitch very well. We got back in the ballgame but Haren obviously didn't have his stuff. The bullpen didn't do it. Tough day.'
NOTES: The Padres had a season-high five stolen bases. ... Washington's Adam LaRoche hit an RBI single in the seventh to extend his career-best hitting streak to 16 games. ... Nationals OF Bryce Harper sat out a second straight game with a bruised left knee from his collision with the right-field wall at Dodger Stadium last Monday night. .... Haren's poor start ended a string of nine consecutive games in which Washington starters allowed two or fewer earned runs. ... The Nationals open a three-game series at San Francisco on Monday night. LHP Zach Duke (0-0, 8.40) is scheduled to start against RHP Ryan Vogelsong (1-4, 8.06). Duke is slated to make his first start since July 10, 2011, at St. Louis. ... The Padres continue their homestand with a three-game series against St. Louis that starts Monday night. The Cardinals are scheduled to start RHP Shelby Miller (5-2, 1.40) vs. RHP Jason Marquis (5-2, 3.49).
The Associated Press News Service
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