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Josh Bell, Juan Soto power Padres past Nats

Aug 20, 2022; San Diego, California, USA;  Washington Nationals third baseman Ildemaro Vargas (14) is tagged out at home plate by San Diego Padres catcher Austin Nola (26) during the fifth inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Bell and Juan Soto homered against their former team to give the San Diego Padres a 2-1 victory over the visiting Washington Nationals on Saturday.

Soto’s solo shot to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning broke a 1-1 tie. Bell smacked his homer with two outs in the fifth inning. The Padres dropped the first two games of the series.

Lane Thomas hit his 12th homer of the season in the second inning to account for Washington’s lone run.

Adrian Morejon (3-0) was the winning pitcher with two innings of shutout relief. The Nationals put two runners on base with one out in the ninth against Luis Garcia before a double-play grounder ended the game.

Steve Cishek (1-4) took the loss.

Bell and Soto were traded earlier this month from the Nationals to the Padres in a blockbuster deal at the trade deadline. Both players were in their 17th game with their new team. It was Bell’s first homer with the Padres and his 15th overall, while Soto’s 23rd home run of the season was his second with San Diego.

Soto accounted for two of San Diego’s five hits.

Padres starter Joe Musgrove was effective by going six innings and allowing one run on four hits without issuing a walk. He struck out seven, but still hasn’t won on the road since a June 16 victory against the Chicago Cubs.

Nationals starter Josiah Gray, who was trying to snap a personal three-game losing skid, has gone seven straight starts without a victory. He gave up four hits, including Bell’s homer, and five walks in five innings.

Thomas and Joey Meneses, who had a pair of singles, each had two of Washington’s seven hits.

Going into Sunday afternoon’s series finale, the season series is tied 3-3 after the Padres finished last weekend’s series by winning two of three games in Washington.

–Field Level Media