WASHINGTON -- It was certainly a Matt Kemp and Justin Upton kind of night on Wednesday at Nationals Park, as the Nos. 3 and 4 hitters in the Padres' lineup combined to knock in five of the team's six runs. Just what the team had in mind when San Diego acquired both players in December -- getting Kemp from the Dodgers and Upton from the Braves.
But while there were lean times early in the season, these two have produced a lot more in the second half, and the Padres' 6-5 victory over the Nationals was a prime example of that.
Upton hit two home runs, giving him a team-high 22, and knocked in three runs, while Kemp had a two-run double as part of a four-run third inning to kick-start the offense.
"When we're both swinging the bats well, the middle of our lineup's dangerous," Upton said.
The Padres are 22-2 when Kemp and Upton each have an RBI in the same game. And, after holding on for a victory on Wednesday, the team has won each of its last 15 games when those two have knocked in runs in the same game.
"Getting guys on for us helps, too," Upton said. "Any time we're in that position, we can do damage."
Upton has done most of his long ball damage at Petco Park, where he's hit 15 of his 22 home runs. These were just his sixth and seventh home runs away from his home ballpark, which is supposed to favor pitchers.
"I'm not trying to not play well on the road," Upton said. "… It just hasn't been in the cards for me."
Upton's first home run, in the third inning, was measured by Statcast™ as having an exit speed of 112 mph. The second home run, to right-center field, came in the seventh inning and proved to be the winning run.
As for Kemp, his 31 RBIs in the second half are second in the National League, trailing Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies (36).
"This guy, diving in the outfield, diving up against the wall, he plays hard every day … I love the way he plays," said Padres interim manager Pat Murphy said. "He's not afraid."
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.