Pads Face Nationals Again with High Hopes

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images
    DENVER - APRIL 09: Relief pitcher Sean Gallagher #63 of the San Diego Padres delivers against the Colorado Rockies during MLB action on Opening Day at Coors Field on April 9, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies defeated the Padres 7-0. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

    The San Diego Padres, 31- 9 over the last 7 years against the Washington Nationals, have dominated the team in the past.

    Still leading the division, they looked to continue that supremacy this weekend as they prepared for a three-game series against the Nats. The Pads looked to open the series strong with lefty pitcher Clayton Richard, who is riding a magnificent four-game winning streak.

    Richard had "good stuff," according to Padres manager Bud Black, through three innings of work, but got lighted up by Josh Willingham for a three-run homer in the fourth, putting the Nationals at a 3-0 lead.

    In late-inning fashion, the Padres tried to mount a rally to overcome the early deficit, but they were plagued with missed opportunities. Leaving eight runners on base and failing to capitalize with bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, the Padres took the first loss of the three-game set.

    The Pads look to get back on track Saturday with pitcher Mat Latos. He has won three of his last four starts surrendering only three runs in those four games.

    Then on Sunday, they look to finish the series with Jon Garland, who has been electric as of recent. Garland shut down the Cardinals' offense in his last start and looks to do the same to the Nationals.

    Pitching is a big element to winning baseball games and the Padres seem to have that ingredient on deck for the remainder of the series. Go Pads!