The 2012 Padres knew going into the season their margin for error would be thin. Poor defense plagued the Friars once again in a rain soaked game at Nationals Park.
In the first inning a throwing error by third baseman Chase Headley led to the Nationals first run. Padres starter Tim Stauffer threw pretty well in his season debut, but ran into trouble in the third inning.
Three singles to start the inning gave Washington a 2-1 lead. After getting Adam LaRoche to hit into a double play the Padres looked like they would escape the inning with minimal damage. Unfortunately for the Friars Headley made his second error of the game on a pick-off throw to third. Roger Bernadina trotted home to give the Nationals a 3-1 lead. With the bases now cleared Bryce Harper hit a no-doubter to dead centerfield for his first career home run.
The Nationals added two more solo shots in the eighth off of reliever Luke Gregerson. One by pinch hitter Chad Tracy, the other by former Padre Xavier Nady.
Trailing by three in the top of the ninth the Padres made some noise, but Jesus Guzman hit into a bases loaded double play to end the game. The Nationals won it 8-5. The short series ends Tuesday with former San Diego State star Stephen Strasburg taking the hill for Washington.