SAN DIEGO — Nelson Cruz drew a bases-loaded walk off Josh Hader to bring in the go-ahead run with one out in the ninth inning and the Washington Nationals beat the San Diego Padres 3-1 on Thursday night.
Hader relieved Yu Darvish (10-7) in a 1-1 game after the right-hander allowed two singles sandwiched around the first out in the ninth. Hader, obtained from Milwaukee on Aug. 1, hit Luke Voit with a pitch to load the bases and then walked Cruz. Keibert Ruiz followed with a sacrifice fly.
The teams staggered through the game without much offense in their fourth meeting since their blockbuster trade on Aug. 2 that sent Juan Soto and Josh Bell to San Diego for a package of players that included Voit. The Padres, scrapping to stay in the NL’s third wild-card spot, had three hits and the Nationals, who have the worst record in the majors, had six, three of them in the ninth.
Soto struck out with the bases loaded to end the seventh and then slammed his bat and helmet to the ground.
Darvish retired the first eight Nationals batters before Ildemaro Vargas homered to right, his second. The Nationals had only two baserunners over the next five innings before starting the winning rally against Darvish in the ninth.
Manny Machado tied the game at 1 with a line shot to left off Anibal Sánchez with two outs in the fourth, his 22nd. He also extended his hitting streak to 10 games.
Carl Edwards (5-3) pitched a perfect eighth for the win. Kyle Finnegan pitched the ninth for his sixth save. Finnegan put two runners on with one out but got pinch-hitter Jurickson Profar to hit into a double play.
The Padres took two of three at Washington last weekend. This was the same pitching matchup as Saturday, when the Nationals beat Darvish and the Padres 4-3. Sánchez got a no-decision.
Darvish allowed three runs and five hits in 8 1/3 innings, struck out six and walked none.
Sánchez allowed just Machado’s homer in five innings, while striking out four and walking two. He retired the first eight Padres batters and 10 of 11 before Machado homered.
Voit became a fan favorite in his half season with the Padres and got a nice ovation as he came to the plate leading off the second.
Nationals RHP Paolo Espino (0-5, 4.20 ERA) and Padres LHP Blake Snell (5-6, 3.66) are scheduled to pitch Friday night.
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