SAN DIEGO (AP) — Jeremy Hellickson was perfect until Travis Jankowski‘s single leading off the seventh inning and led the Washington Nationals over the San Diego Padres 4-0 on Tuesday night.
Hellickson (1-0) struck out eight and kept San Diego off balance with his curveball and changeup just four nights after the Padres were no-hit by four Los Angeles Dodgers pitchers in Monterrey, Mexico.
The Padres finally broke through when Jankowski singled up the middle on Hellickson’s 83rd pitch. Hellickson, a 31-year-old who joined the Nationals on a minor league deal in mid-March, struck out Eric Hosmer and retired rookie Christian Villanueva on a flyball before Franchy Cordero singled to left. Manager Dave Martinez then pulled the right-hander in favor of Ryan Madson, who retired Jose Pirela on one pitch.
Hellickson, who came in with four straight no-decisions, didn’t issue a walk while throwing 91 pitches. He also hit an RBI double in the seventh.
He gave up consecutive flyballs to the warning track in the fifth inning but then struck out Raffy Lopez. In the sixth, he got Freddy Galvis to ground out before striking out Manuel Margot and pitcher Clayton Richard.
The Padres had only three hits in getting shut out for the fifth time.
Richard (1-5) had a good start, too, by facing only one over the minimum through four, before getting hit hard to open the fifth. Howie Kendrick hit a leadoff single and scored on Matt Adams‘ opposite-field double to left over a shift. Pedro Severino followed with an RBI single.
Richard allowed three runs and seven hits in eight innings. He also struck out eight without issuing a walk.
Nationals: LHP Gio Gonzalez (4-2, 2.33) is scheduled to start the series finale Wednesday night. His ERA ranks eighth in the NL.
Padres: Rookie LHP Joey Lucchesi (3-2, 3.13) faces the Nats for the first time. He took the loss Friday night in the Dodgers’ combined no-hitter.