"Our big boys did some damage, and that's huge."  Jim Riggleman, on the bats heating up, after 76 win over San Diego.

Adam Dunn has first three-homer game of career. (Photo by Cheryl Nichols/Nats News Network)

THE RESULT:  Though the bullpen made things interesting -- more interesting than any Nats fan would appreciate -- Adam Dunn's first three-home run game of his career powered the Washington Nationals over the San Diego Padres 7-6, giving the Nats victories in the first two games of the series.

A crowd of 13,762 suffered the heat and humidity to witness Dunn's milestone game.

The Nats have won five of eight games and now own a 38-47 season record.

Dunn became the second player with a three-homer game for the Nationals, joining Alfonso Soriano's feat in 2006. This was the first three-homer performance in the three-season history of Nationals Park.

Dunn wasn't the only source of power on a night where the ball really carried.  The two teams combined for seven round-trippers on the night.

The Nats power celebrate Dunn's first home run. (Photo by Cheryl Nichols/Nats News Network)

"The ball is definitely carrying better right now," Manager Jim Riggleman said after the game.  "You wouldn't think it would be that way when it's hot and humid, but the ball is carrying better."

"Every ball that was hit out of the ballpark was legit, but there's been some lately...that didn't go out.  Last couple of nights the park has been playing real fair, and if you hit it it's going to go."

Ian Desmond hit a solo shot for the Nationals (his sixth of the season), and Adrian Gonzalez, Chris Denorfia and Matt Stairs all went deep for the Padres.  Denorfia and Stairs' homers were of the pinch-hit variety, and Stairs' was his 20th pinch-hit home run of his career, matching the MLB record set by Cliff Johnson.

The Nats got right to their job against Padres starter Jon Garland (L, 8-6) in the first inning.  Trailing 1-0 on Gonzalez' tater, Nyjer Morgan singled and Roger Bernadina walked, setting up Ryam Zimmerman for an RBI single to right field.  Dunn followed with his first of the night -- a three-run shot -- to the Red Porch seats in center field.

Washington built a lead of 6-2 in support of starter J.D. Martin (W, 1-4, 3.35).  Martin gave up the solo homer and RBI double to Gonzalez (4-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs), but was solid for 5 2/3.  He gave up six hits and one walk, striking out four.  He ran into trouble in the sixth and needed help from the bullpen to escapre the jam with no more runs scoring.

J.D. Martin earns his first victory since last September. (Photo by Cheryl Nichols/Nats News Network)

Unfortunately, the Nats had to watch the lead dwindle against a parade of relievers. 

Denorfia touched up Joel Peralta in the seventh, the Padres got two in the eighth off Drew Storen, and All-Star closer Matt Capps gave up Stairs' shot.  But Capps recovered, with some help from defensive replacement Adam Kennedy at first, to get the third out in the ninth for his 23rd save of the season.

Asked about Capps' propensity for putting runners on during save opportunities, Riggleman defended his closer.  "He's right there at the top of the league in saves, and I think that speaks for itself."

THE GOOD:  Dunn, obviously.  3-for-5, three homers, five RBIs.  Does a performance likethis make it easier or more difficult to trade him?

THE BAD:  Roger Bernadina went 0-for-3 batting second.  Pudge Rodriguez went 0-for-4 batting sixth.

THE UGLY:  Jon Garland.  He's been having a real good year for San Diego, but tonight the Nats had four runs before he recorded an out.

THE STATS:  The Nats went 2-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left three on base.  They struck out five times and walked three times.

NEXT GAME:  Nats go for the sweep against the Padres best pitcher.  Luis Atilano (6-5, 4.72) challenges Mat Latos (9-4, 2.62) at 7:05 pm.

NATS NOTES:  It was Martin's first win since Sept. 28, 2009.

Game-time temperature was 98 degrees, one degree "cooler" than Tuesday, making it the second hottest game in Nationals history.

For the seventh consecutive game, the Nationals starter has allowed a first inning run.

Nats Win!  (Photo by Cheryl Nichols/Nats News Network)