WASHINGTON (AP) — Blake Snell struck out 10 in six sharp innings, Juan Soto reached base three times and the San Diego Padres wrapped up a hectic weekend with a 6-0 win over the Washington Nationals on Sunday.
On Friday, with so much focus on Soto’s return to Washington after a major trade this month, the Padres found out star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. had been suspended 80 games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.
Then Saturday, San Diego manager Bob Melvin was upset with a disputed call at home plate in a one-run loss. Sunday was smoother all around because of Snell.
“He’s on quite a roll,” Melvin said.
Snell (5-6) threw his longest scoreless outing since going seven scoreless innings Aug. 31, 2021. He allowed three hits and walked none.
“Hard to prepare at noon for a game, that’s tough,” Snell said. “I was able to figure out sleep and get that locked in. And I felt better than I thought I was going to feel, so I was excited about that.”
The Nationals were less excited about his outing.
“Snell was really good,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “His fastball had good life. He was throwing strikes. The slider was good. But he was pumping strikes, and we couldn’t get nothing going. Our plan was to make him throw strikes, and he did that. But his fastball location was really good, and his breaking ball was good.”
Paolo Espino (0-5) gave up four runs in 5 2/3 innings. He has not recorded a win for 14 consecutive starts.
Wil Myers, whose playing time was reduced by the acquisitions of Soto and Josh Bell, had three hits for the Padres. Soto singled and walked twice.
Myers hit an RBI double in the second. Jurickson Profar drew a leadoff walk in the third, Soto and Manny Machado singled and a grounder made it 3-0.
Myers drove in another run in the sixth and the Padres added two runs in the ninth.
“You want to incorporate everybody,” Melvin said. “This guy’s been a starter here for quite some time.”
Nationals rookie first baseman Joey Meneses had two hits. He now has 14 in his 10 career big league games, the most by any Nationals player (2005-present) in that span. Soto, Luis García and Ian Desmond all had 12 hits in their first 10 games.
Bell, acquired with Soto in the huge trade with Washington on Aug. 2, was hitless in four at-bats. He is in an 0-for-14 slump and a 6-for-39 (.154) rut with the Padres.
“Right now, he’s hitting it hard on the ground,” Melvin said. “He’ll elevate some balls, he does have a ground ball rate. He swings down through the ball. Hits it hard. Right now, it’s just on ground a little bit. But once he elevates it some, I think you’ll see what has to offer.”
Nationals outfielder Alex Call was claimed off waivers Aug. 7 after the Cleveland Guardians designated him for assignment about a month after he made his major league debut.
Washington quickly claimed Call, which meant over the course of two weeks, Call would play for two minor league teams and two major league teams: July 31, he went 1 for 2 and walked twice for the Guardians. He played for Triple-A Columbus from Aug. 2-4. Then he was with Washington’s Triple-A affiliate, the Rochester Red Wings, from Aug. 9-13 before debuting for the Nationals as their leadoff hitter Sunday.
“I was in Cleveland, when I got sent down, we had just got back from Tampa Bay,” Call said. “Drove to Columbus, we had an off-day. Was in Columbus, played Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. DFA’d on Friday. Then sat in my apartment for 48 hours. Got claimed on Sunday afternoon … 4 o’clock game on Sunday. I went and said hi to the manager. But then went home and packed up my stuff. Drove to Rochester on Monday, our off-day, played Tuesday through Saturday, then got about four hours of sleep (Saturday night) and took the 6:40 (a.m. flight) from Rochester to D.C. And here we are.”
Further crunching Call’s schedule was Sunday’s 12:05 p.m. start. He went 0 for 4.
Nationals: RHP Erick Fedde (right shoulder inflammation) is expected to start a rehab assignment Wednesday with Triple-A Rochester. Fedde was placed on the injured list July 30, retroactive to July 27.
Padres: RHP Joe Musgrove (8-5, 2.91) is San Diego’s starter to open a three-game series Monday in Miami.
Nationals: RHP Josiah Gray (7-8, 4.81) takes the mound in Nationals Park to begin a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Albert Pujols homered twice and Miles Mikolas tossed eight effective innings, helping St. Louis past Milwaukee.
Dylan Carlson and Tyler O’Neill also connected for St. Louis, which pushed its NL Central lead over second-place Milwaukee to 1 1/2 games.
Carlson broke a 2-all tie with his eighth homer of the season, a drive to left against Taylor Rogers (1-6) in the eighth.
Hunter Renfroe and Rowdy Tellez homered for Milwaukee, which beat St. Louis 3-2 in 10 innings on Saturday night.
Pujols hit a solo shot in the second and a three-run drive in the eighth to give him 689 career homers. It was his 63rd career multihomer game.
The 42-year-old Pujols ranks fourth on the career homer list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714) and Alex Rodriguez (696).
Mikolas (9-9) permitted two runs and four hits. He struck out six and walked none.
Mikolas has held opponents to two or fewer earned runs in nine of 13 starts.
Renfroe hit a two-run shot in the second off Mikolas, who then retired the next 10 batters.
O’Neill tied the game with his seventh homer in the sixth.
St. Louis took an 8-7 lead in the season series. The teams have four games remaining against each other.
Cardinals: RHP Jack Flaherty will make a rehab start at Double-A Springfield on Tuesday. Flaherty, who was placed on the injured list on June 27 with a right shoulder strain, will throw 45-50 pitches in his second rehab start.
Brewers: RHP Freddy Peralta (4-2, 4.37 ERA) faces Los Angeles Dodgers LHP Julio Urias (12-6, 2.49 ERA) in the first of a four-game set on Monday in Milwaukee. Peralta will be making his 11th start of the season.
Cardinals: LHP José Quintana (4-5, 3.37 ERA) will take on Colorado LHP Kyle Freeland (7-8, 4.84 ERA) in the first of a three-game series on Tuesday in St. Louis. Quintana will be making his second start after coming over from Pittsburgh in a trade.
MIAMI (AP) — Rookie Michael Harris II hit a tying homer in the ninth, William Contreras had a go-ahead single and the Atlanta Braves rallied to beat Miami for a sweep of their four-game series.
The Braves won their sixth straight after losing four of five against the NL East-leading New York Mets.
Harris’ leadoff shot in the ninth tied it at 1-all. He drove the first pitch from Marlins reliever Tanner Scott (4-5) over the wall in left center for his 12th homer.
Dansby Swanson followed with a single and Vaughn Grissom walked. Austin Riley flew out to right before Swanson got caught in a rundown between second and third for the second out. Scott then walked Matt Olson and Contreras followed with a hard grounder that Miami second baseman Jon Berti deflected but couldn’t retrieve in time to throw out Grissom at the plate.
Braves All-Star outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. did not start but pinch hit in the ninth and was intentionally walked. Olson advanced to third on the walk and scored on a wild pitch by Scott.
Acuña was removed late in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader as a precaution to rest his surgically repaired right knee.
The Marlins have scored three or fewer runs in 15 consecutive games, matching the 1979 Chicago Cubs for the second-longest drought in the division era.
Tyler Matzek (3-2) threw a scoreless eighth and Kenley Jansen got three outs in the ninth around a single for his 27th save.
Atlanta starter Bryce Elder struck out a career-high 10 in seven innings of one-run ball. The 23-year-old Elder, who was recalled from Triple-A Saturday, allowed three hits and walked two.
Elder kept Miami hitless through the first 3 1/3 innings before JJ Bleday doubled and scored on Miguel Rojas’ RBI single.
Marlins starter Braxton Garrett was lifted after six innings. Garrett scattered five hits, walked three and struck out two.
The Marlins selected the contracts of RHP Parker Bugg and LHP Andrew Nardi from Triple-A Jacksonville and optioned RHP Tommy Nance to the same minor league club. RHP A.J. Ladwig was designated for assignment.
Marlins: RHP Anthony Bender (right elbow strain) was placed on the 15-day injured list.
Braves: RHP Spencer Strider (6-4, 3.11) will start the opener of a four-game home series against the Mets on Monday. RHP Carlos Carrasco (13-4, 3.76) will start for the Mets.
Marlins: RHP Sandy Alcantara (10-5, 2.01) starts the opener of a three-game home set against the San Diego Padres on Monday. The Padres will go with RHP Joe Musgrove (8-5, 2.91).