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Tough day for Nationals in 4-2 loss to Padres

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Well before the first pitch, it was a tough day for the Washington Nationals.

Star outfielder Bryce Harper was put on the disabled list with a sprained thumb. And Sunday’s starting pitcher, Taylor Jordan, woke up with a fever.

The game didn’t go any better for the Nationals, who got just five hits in a 4-2 loss to Ian Kennedy and the San Diego Padres.

Kennedy (2-3) silenced the depleted lineup of the Nationals, who are also are missing third baseman Ryan Zimmerman and catcher Wilson Ramos. Kennedy gave up three hits, struck out nine and walked none in seven innings.

Kennedy retired 16 straight batters at one stretch. After giving up back-to-back doubles to Anthony Rendon and Jayson Werth in the first inning, Kennedy allowed only one more hit.

“We just couldn’t get much going today,” said Nate McLouth, who homered for the Nationals. “I thought Kennedy pitched a phenomenal game. We may have had him on the ropes a little bit the first couple innings. Got his pitch count up there, but after that he was lights out.”

McLouth connected in the eighth for his first home run as a member of the Nationals. Starting in left field for Harper, McLouth entered the game with an .097 batting average.

Huston Street closed for his ninth save in nine chances.

Coming off three rough starts, all losses, Jordan got through four innings, allowing three hits, two walks and one run. He left with the score tied at 1.

“It wasn’t so bad out there on the mound. The only thing, it’s just the headache,” Jordan said. “Towards the end it was starting to go back towards the back (of my head), but it wasn’t totally unbearable or anything.”

Nationals manager Matt Williams said he considered resting Jordan.

“I don’t know if it’s the flu or what,” Williams said. “There was some question as to whether he would even start. Gave him a bag of fluids and he ate something this morning, but fastball velocity was way down, weak out there. So he gave us what he could today.”

Williams’ relievers struggled. Ross Detwiler (0-1) and Aaron Barrett ineffective, combining to give up three runs in two innings. Barrett issued two walks with the bases loaded in the sixth inning.

“You have to make an adjustment,” Detwiler said. “I didn’t and it pretty much cost us the game.”

Not all the news was bad on the injury front for Washington.

In a rehab stint at Single-A Potomac, Doug Fister threw 59 pitches, including 42 strikes. He is due for one more minor league start before his promotion, presumably to replace Jordan.

“I felt really good, felt strong,” Fister said. “Didn’t have any issues in the (injured) lat. Just a matter of knocking off some rust and getting back out there.”

Meanwhile, San Diego welcomed back a key player. Center fielder Cameron Maybin, out since spring training because of a ruptured biceps, played for the first time this season and got two hits.

Maybin was among those providing strong work in the field to support Kennedy. First baseman Yonder Alonso made two outstanding plays and Will Venable robbed Werth of a potential extra-base hit with a diving catch in the right-field corner.

“It kept fading away. I thought it was a double, for sure,” Kennedy said. “As soon as he dove, extended, it was a beautiful play.”

NOTES: Washington will have days off before and after a two-game series at Houston that begins on Tuesday when LHP Gio Gonzalez (3-1, 3.00) faces RHP Jarred Cosart (1-2, 6.12).