Petco Park San Diego

Washington Nationals vs. San Diego Padres Pick & Prediction AUGUST 21st 2022

TV: Bally Sports Network | MASN
Logo Washington Nationals
Logo San Diego Padres

8.5o -106
-1.5 -135



The San Diego Padres keep searching for ways to put together sustained success.

Maybe they've found a seed to begin growing some winning ways heading into Sunday afternoon's series finale against the Washington Nationals in San Diego.

"We all believe in each other," Padres first baseman/designated hitter Josh Bell said. "It starts with a night like (Saturday), a close game. We close it out and we come back (Sunday) and get another win and get this going in the right direction."

Bell and Juan Soto homered against their former team as the Padres edged the Nationals 2-1 on Saturday. It was the first homer for Bell in 17 games with the Padres, who traded for him and Soto at the trade deadline earlier this month.

"It felt like a gorilla got taken off my shoulders," Bell said. "I've just been trying to focus on routine in the (batting) cage."

San Diego won two of three in a series that last weekend in Washington. Now the Nationals have won two of three in San Diego, so the season series winner will be decided in Sunday's final meeting of the year.

The owners of baseball's worst record, the Nationals have been competitive against the Padres this year.

"We're playing well," Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. "We just have to keep going."

Neither Bell nor Soto had a hit in the first two games of the series, but the Nationals are well aware of what they can do.

"You know what kind of players they are," Martinez said.

Padres manager Bob Melvin said he hopes the home run for Bell alleviates some pressure on the team newcomer.

"More aggressive swings," Melvin said. "So hard work pays off. He and Soto both. To have both of them hit home runs and (account for) both our runs feels pretty good."

Since the departure of Bell and Soto, others have had opportunities for the Nationals. Rookie Joey Meneses is 9-for-25 in six games against the Padres.

"It's awesome," Martinez said. "He's working some really good at-bats. He has a great approach up there."

Left-hander Patrick Corbin (4-16, 6.96 ERA) will be Washington's starting pitcher Sunday.

The Nationals haven't won a game in which Corbin has pitched since June 28, when he worked eight sterling innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Twice since then, Corbin failed to complete an inning. He has given up at least one home in 13 of his past 17 games.

Corbin is 7-9 with a 4.51 ERA all-time in 22 appearances, including 17 starts, against the Padres. That's the third-highest win total against any opponent in his career. He split two decisions against San Diego last year, though in the victory he was aided by then-teammate Soto's three-run homer.

Martinez said there are concerns regarding the bullpen's workload, particularly with recently acquired left-hander Jake McGee.

"We've got to take it easy with him as well," Martinez said.

The Padres will send lefty Sean Manaea (6-6, 4.83) to the mound Sunday as he tries to shed a rough August. He is 1-2 but has given up 15 runs (14 earned) in 13 innings in his three appearances this month. This came after he earned three victories in July.

Manaea has never faced the Nationals.

--Field Level Media

Washington Nationals
San Diego Padres

Washington Nationals vs. San Diego Padres Recap AUG 21TH 2022

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

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