Nationals Tag Johnson For Three Homers

Padres Fall 8-5 in Johnson’s Petco Park Debut

In his second start as a Padre and in his first appearance in a home white uniform at Petco Park, Erik Johnson made the Washington Nationals put the ball in play.

Unfortunately for Johnson, the ball didn’t always stay in the park as he allowed three costly homers and the first place Nationals took the series opener 8-5.

The right-hander worked his way into the 3rd inning with a 2-1 lead before losing control of the game. Bryce Harper and Wilson Ramos smacked back-to-back homers to give Washington a 4-2 advantage.

After that, the Padres were playing catch up again and as we’ve seen many times in 2016, they have a tough time digging themselves out of early holes.

Wil Myers cut the deficit to 4-3 when he blasted a solo shot in the 5th inning. It was the 15th homer of the season for the Padres first baseman, which ties him with Matt Kemp for most on the team.

But any momentum for the home squad evaporated the very next inning when Washington’s Anthony Rendon made it three total homers off of Johnson. Rendon sent an 0-2 offering over the fence in left-center to make it 5-3. 

The Nationals tacked on another run in the 7th off of Padres reliever Brad Hand and two more insurance runs off of Matt Thornton in the 9th.

Padres manager Andy Green said in his postgame press conference that Johnson "battled" and that this was “a better effort,” than his first outing against Colorado but the righty still fell to 0-2 since joining San Diego.

Johnson allowed five runs on seven hits in six innings of work. He also struck out two and walked two.

Kemp and fellow outfielder Melvin Upton Junior each collected two hits in the loss and combined for 3 RBI. The pair contributed RBI singles in the first inning to give San Diego a brief 2-0 lead and Kemp added a sacrifice fly in the 9th

Kemp is batting .361 in the month of June and is 22-for-61 over the course of his last 15 games.

Christian Friedrich is slated to start Friday against former Padres 1st round pick Joe Ross. First pitch is set for 7:40 p.m.

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