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Josh Bell’s homer pushes Padres past Nationals

Aug 21, 2022; San Diego, California, USA;  San Diego Padres starting pitcher Sean Manaea (55) pitches during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Bell hit a two-run homer off Patrick Corbin in the sixth inning on Sunday to give the San Diego Padres a second straight 2-1 victory over the visiting Washington Nationals and a split of their four-game series.

Nelson Cruz had given Washington a 1-0 lead with a solo homer off Padres starter Sean Manaea with one out in the fourth.

Brandon Drury doubled to open the San Diego sixth against Corbin. The switch-hitting Bell then went the opposite-way, lining a 2-and-1 pitch into the short porch down the right-field line. It was Bell’s second home in as many nights following a 2-for-35 drought.

Corbin (4-17) entered the game leading the National League in losses, hits allowed (167) and earned runs (90) and had given up 22 homers in just 116 1/3 innings.

But he held the Padres scoreless over five innings. Twice the Padres had two on with two outs. Corbin responded both times with an inning-ending strikeout, getting Bell in the first and Jorge Alfaro in the fourth. Corbin allowed two runs on nine hits and two walks with three strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings.

Manaea (7-6) held the Nationals to Cruz’s homer on five hits and no walks with four strikeouts over seven innings — thanks in part to several outstanding defensive plays by shortstop Ha-Seong Kim. Manaea threw just 69 pitches.

With Josh Hader temporarily out as the Padres’ closer, Nick Martinez worked a perfect ninth to earn his fifth save.

The Nationals mounted a two-out threat against Padres reliever Robert Suarez in the eighth. Pinch-hitter Keibert Ruiz doubled down the line in left and moved to third on Alex Call’s infield single to the left side. But Suarez struck out Joey Meneses to end the inning.

The Padres will open a two-game series at home against the Cleveland Guardians on Tuesday, and the Nationals will visit the Seattle Mariners for a two-game set starting the same night.

–Field Level Media