San Diego — For nearly four months, the Washington Nationals have absorbed injuries to their starting lineup and cruised along, more than adequately patching holes with bench players and minor leaguers to overcome a bullpen that was dreadful until mid-July and compile a massive lead in a woeful division .
But while injuries have inundated the offense, the pitching staff, including a remodeled bullpen, has stepped up to shoulder a greater burden to offset the dip in run production.
On Thursday, it kept the Nationals in a game long enough for Ryan Zimmerman to break a tie with a solo home run in the eighth inning of a 2-1 win over the San Diego Padres.
That loaded the bases for Adam Lind, who sat on a curveball and drove it to the warning track in left field for an out, but far enough to score Kendrick from third for the game’s first run.
The catcher grounded out to first base and Chacin, whose pitch count was up to 69 through three innings, escaped yet again as the Nationals began the night 0 for 4 with runners in scoring position.
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