- Associated Press - Thursday, July 8, 2010

WASHINGTON (AP) - Mat Latos threw seven shutout innings and had two hits, including one of San Diego’s four homers, leading the Padres to a 7-1 victory over the Washington Nationals on Thursday night.

Latos (10-4) won his career-high fifth consecutive decision. He gave up five hits and two walks, with eight strikeouts.

He was as good at the plate as on the mound, smacking his first career homer off Luis Atilano (6-6) in the fourth inning, then singling and scoring in the seventh.

San Diego’s Chris Denorfia homered for the second consecutive game, Chase Headley hit a two-run shot and Jerry Hairston Jr. went deep in the ninth.

That was plenty of offense for Latos, who has pitched at least seven innings without allowing a run in six of 17 starts this season.

The 22-year-old right-hander retired 11 consecutive batters from the third through sixth innings. The Nationals got to him for three singles in the seventh, but Latos escaped without allowing a run. Nyjer Morgan grounded out with the bases loaded for the final out.

Atilano went 5 1-3 innings, giving up eight hits and four runs. He has lost five of his past six decisions.

Yorvit Torrealba’s RBI single in the first put San Diego ahead 1-0, and the score stayed that way until the fourth, when Denorfia drove a solo shot to left on the first pitch of his at-bat. He had zero homers this season until Wednesday, when he hit one as a pinch hitter in the seventh.

Latos made it 3-0 one out later with his first homer in 46 at-bats in the majors _ also on the first pitch, also to left.

The Padres boosted their lead to 4-0 in the sixth on Denorfia’s fielder’s choice grounder, and that was it for Atilano. He was replaced by Miguel Batista, who gave up Latos’ single leading off the seventh, and then allowed Headley’s sixth homer of the season, making it 6-0. Headley went 3 for 5, including a double.

Washington’s run came on a single by Adam Dunn in the eighth off Luke Gregerson. Dunn struck out in all three at-bats against Latos.

Hairston’s sixth homer came off Doug Slaten, Washington’s fourth pitcher.

NOTES: Nationals 3B Ryan Zimmerman was beaten out by Reds 1B Joey Votto in four days of fan voting on the Internet for the final spot on the National League’s All-Star roster. “He shouldn’t even have been on the ballot,” Zimmerman said about Votto. “He should be the starter at first base.” … Padres CF Tony Gwynn Jr. was not in the lineup after bruising his heel Wednesday night in San Diego’s 7-6 loss at Washington. Padres manager Bud Black said Gwynn “jammed his heel” while climbing the outfield wall trying to make a catch. … The Nationals agreed to terms with three players picked in June’s draft: Rice SS Rick Hague (third round), Texas RF Kevin Keyes (seventh round) and Western Oklahoma State LF Randolph Oduber (32nd round).

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