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San Diego, CA (Sports Network) - Josh Willingham hit a three-run homer and John Lannan was solid in seven innings on the mound, as the Washington Nationals held off the San Diego Padres, 5-3, in the opener of a three-game series at Petco Park.
Lannan (2-2) gave up two runs -- one earned -- on seven hits to pick up his second win of the year and first since April 10 against the Mets. He also improved to 1-2 in five career starts against San Diego.
Ian Desmond belted a solo homer and drove in a total of two runs for the Nationals, who are 2-2 on a 10-game road trip.
Chris Denorfia went 2-for-4 with two RBI for the Padres, who have dropped two in a row since a four-game winning streak. Adrian Gonzalez knocked in the other run for San Diego, which got three hits from Yorvit Torrealba in defeat.
Clayton Richard (4-3) allowed four runs on four hits in seven frames to suffer his first loss since April 14 versus the Braves. The left-hander also fanned five batters and walked one.
Trailing 5-2, San Diego made things interesting in the bottom of the ninth. Matt Capps came on to close it out, but gave up three straight singles to Torrealba, Oscar Salazar, and Jerry Hairston Jr. to load the bases. Denorfia then hit an RBI base hit up the middle to cut the gap to two. However, Capps struck out pinch-hitterMatt Stairs and Will Venable and got David Eckstein to ground out for his 17th save of the year.
"I was just concentrating on the hitter and not worrying about the runners," Capps said.
Willingham broke a scoreless tie with a three-run homer in the top of the fourth. Cristian Guzman reached base on an infield single and Ryan Zimmerman walked to put men on first and second with two outs. Willingham stepped to the plate and blasted a first-pitch fastball over the wall in center.
The Padres got a run back in the home half of the frame. Eckstein led off with a double and crossed the plate on Gonzalez's base hit up the middle. San Diego went on to strand runners on first and second.
Desmond hit a solo homer to left in the top of the seventh to make it 4-1, but San Diego got a run back in the bottom half on Denorfia's RBI single.
After Tyler Clippard pitched a scoreless eighth, Desmond knocked in a run with a bunt single in the ninth for a 5-2 margin.
"He was throwing strikes. He just kept us off balanced with his fastball and changeup and he mixed in a curveball as well," Hairston said of Lannan.
San Diego won four of six matchups with Washington a season ago and is 13-5 in the last 18 meetings between the teams...The Padres placed shortstop Everth Cabrera on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to May 24, with a strained right hamstring. Additionally on Friday, the club recalled infielder Lance Zawadzki from Triple-A Portland, reinstated pitcher Sean Gallagher from the 15-day disabled list and optioned pitcher Adam Russell to Portland...The Padres stranded eight runners.