SAN DIEGO -- Kevin Correia nearly added his first complete game to the other milestones he's reached this season.
Correia (10-10) allowed three hits in 7 2/3 innings and retired 19 in a row in one stretch before he faltered, leading the San Diego Padres to a 7-0 victory over the Washington Nationals on Wednesday."I went out in the eighth and I didn't stay as aggressive as I was before," he said. "That probably cost me."Although he didn't realize his first complete game, the win marked another step for Correia, who was a part-time starter and a part-time reliever with San Francisco in parts of six seasons.Correia, who signed with the Padres as a minor league free agent in the offseason, reached double figures in wins for the first time. He has also extended his career bests for starts (28) and innings pitched (163 2/3), while not having missing his turn in the rotation. Correia is the only Padres starting pitcher from Opening Day who is still pitching for the team."It's a great, tremendous compliment to him," San Diego manager Bud Black. "That's the type of thing when you look at starters who pass the test of time and guys who take their 33, 34, 35 starts each year, that's what you want out of a starter."The Nationals managed just two first-inning singles off Correia before he set down 19 consecutive batters. Wil Nieves broke the string with a leadoff walk in the eighth. Correia retired the next two batters before Washington loaded the bases on a walk by pinch-hitter Elijah Dukes and Willie Harris' single.Black came out to talk to Correia after the walk to Dukes and told him he had one more batter."I still thought he was throwing the ball well," Black said. "But the at-bats in the previous inning, he fell behind hitters. I wanted to make sure he had the right frame of mind."When Correia gave up a single to Harris to load the bases, he was replaced by Edward Mujica, who got Alberto Gonzalez on a popup to end the inning.Mujica finished the three-hitter and the Padres' fourth shutout."It would be nice," said Correia about the possibility of his first complete game. "I've been close. It hasn't happened yet, but I know it will. I'm throwing the ball well, so it will happen, but wins are more important."Correia, who struck out five and walked two, has made 74 career starts.Adrian Gonzalez and Chase Headley helped break open a scoreless game when San Diego scored five runs off John Lannan (8-10) in the fifth inning.San Diego swept the three-game series and has won seven of nine. Washington has lost six straight, 13 of 16 and has dropped 31 of its last 40 games against the Padres.The Nationals continued to struggle at the plate and have scored just three runs in their last 38 innings, including two runs in this series.After two-out singles by rookie Everth Cabrera and David Eckstein in the fifth, Gonzalez hit a ball to left field that just tailed away from Harris for a double and two RBIs."It kind of changed the whole ballgame really," Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said. "We couldn't get to it and it turns into a five-run inning. That was our day."After an intentional walk to Kevin Kouzmanoff, Headley doubled into right-center field to score two more runs. Rookie Will Venable completed the scoring in the inning with an RBI single. Eckstein added an RBI double in the sixth and finished with three hits.Lannan allowed five runs and six hits in five innings."They made things happen in the fifth," Lannan said. "That's the way it went. That's the way the whole road trip went."Washington went 3-6 on its road trip.San Diego has won 14 of 18 games against the Nationals at Petco Park, dating to 2004, when they were the Montreal Expos.Washington threatened in the first inning against Correia after consecutive two-outs singles by Adam Dunn and Ryan Zimmerman put runners at first and third. But Correia retired Pete Orr on a groundout to end the inning.
Nationals shortstop Cristian Guzman missed his third straight start with bunions on his foot. ... Black confirmed that rookie right-hander Mat Latos will make his final start of the season on Saturday at the Los Angeles Dodgers. Latos has thrown more than double the number of innings he's pitched in either of his first two minor league seasons.