Washington Nationals vs. San Diego Padres: Padres win, March 18

AP Photo

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Jordan Zimmermann of the Washington Nationals made three mistakes Saturday night, two while on the mound and one on the base paths. All three were costly.

Everth Cabrera singled in the go-ahead run in the eighth against Zimmermann, and Yonder Alonso homered and helped turn a heads-up double play as the San Diego Padres beat the Nationals 2-1 Saturday night.

Zimmermann (7-2) was trying to become the first player in the majors to eight wins this season.

Cabrera singled in Alex Amarista, who reached when catcher Kurt Suzuki fielded his bunt and forced John Baker at second. Zimmermann tried to pick off Amarista but his throw was wide of first baseman Adam LaRoche for an error, allowing Amarista to take second.

"I just hung onto it too long," Zimmermann said. I just pulled it a little bit, a little left of Rochy and he couldn't get a glove on it."

Cabrera's hit made a winner of Eric Stults (4-3). The left-hander went a season-high eight innings, allowing one run and four hits while striking out five and walking two.

Zimmermann also went eight, allowing two runs, one earned, and seven hits. He struck out six and walked none.

Huston Street pitched the ninth for his 10th save in 11 chances. Street gave up Chad Tracy's pinch-hit homer in the 10th inning of the Nationals' 6-5 win Friday night.

Alonso sent a drive a few rows beyond the home run porch in the right-field corner leading off the second for a 1-0 lead. It was his fifth of the season.

"It was a good pitch, it was up," Zimmermann said. "You can't really complain about that. The throwing error I made down the line cost us. If I don't make that, we're still out there playing."

The Nationals had runners on second and third with one out in the third after Kurt Suzuki walked and Zimmermann reached on an error when second baseman Jedd Gyorko couldn't handle a low throw from Stults on a sacrifice attempt and the ball rolled into foul territory.

Denard Span then hit a hard comebacker that ricocheted off Stults to Alonso, who tagged the bag and then ran over to third, where Zimmermann had joined Suzuki. Zimmermann broke to go back to second and Suzuki was still off third base so Alonso tagged him to end the inning.

"I saw the ball going up the middle and I thought it bounced in front of the pitcher," Zimmermann said. "I was taking off and I didn't really know what happened when they said it went off his foot to the first baseman. That's kind of the way our luck has been going."

The Nationals tied it in the sixth on their first two hits off Stults. Suzuki hit a leadoff single to right, advanced on Zimmermann's bunt and scored on Steve Lombardozzi's single to right-center.

San Diego's Chase Headley was caught in a rundown between third and home for the third out of the seventh after he didn't see that shortstop Ian Desmond made a nice diving stab at Chris Denorfia's single. Headley rounded third by a few steps and Desmond threw to third. Headley broke for home but was tagged out.

The teams go at it again this afternoon at 4:10 p.m.