Padres best Nats despite Taylor's big day

Padres best Nats despite Taylor's big day

SAN DIEGO -- The Nationals showed off their home run swings from the first pitch as Michael Taylor went deep en route to a 4-for-4, two-homer game, but the Padres prevailed in the series finale, 6-3, on Sunday afternoon at Petco Park.

San Diego earned a split after a series of timely hitting and patient at-bats in the fourth and fifth innings. The Padres combined for five hits, two walks and a hit-by-pitch to score four runs over that stretch and pick up their first Sunday win.

"It was a good day," said Padres manager Andy Green. "We needed that. ... Up and down the lineup, we got quality production from just about anywhere."

Green on 6-3 win

Padres starter Drew Pomeranz was hounded by the long ball, allowing three solo homers, including two from Taylor in his first multihomer game. The 27-year-old lefty managed to limit the damage, though, by allowing just one free pass and pitching out of several jams to deliver a quality start. A 6-4-3 double play he induced to end the first started a stretch in which he he retired 10 of the next 11 batters.

Taylor's four-hit game

"I felt all right," said Pomeranz, who picked up the win. "I think I made three -- obviously three main mistakes. And they capitalized on them. They're a good hitting team. Those are the ones you want back, you know, but I guess the name of the game is to give up less runs than the other guy. So our offense did really good today."

Pomeranz's quality start

Washington starter Gio Gonzalez continued his June struggles when he allowed a pair of runs during a 32-pitch fourth that included a walk and a hit batter. In the fifth, he walked leadoff hitter Yangervis Solarte and then threw Melvin Upton Jr.'s swinging bunt into right field to start the inning. Both would come around to score, helping push Gonzalez's ERA up to 4.03.

"They outplayed us," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. "They outplayed us the last two days."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Thanks, Travis: After entering the game for Jon Jay -- who exited with a bruised right forearm after being hit by a pitch -- Travis Jankowski showed off his range in center field, and potentially prevented another Washington home run, when he tracked Daniel Murphy's fly ball deep into center field and made a leaping grab at the wall. The catch helped San Diego retain a 5-3 lead.

Jankowski's leaping catch

"I didn't think it was out when he hit it, but as it kept carrying, I wasn't too happy about it," Green said. "But Travis gets back there well. He moves really well."

Fast start: Taylor has a hit in 17 consecutive starts dating back to May 3 and posted his best offensive day Sunday. He finished 4-for-4, matching a career high for hits in a game. He is hitting 24-for-72 (.333) with seven doubles and three home runs since May 3.

"I try to take the same approach whether I'm playing one day a week or every day," Taylor said. More >

No rest for Rosales: Out of the lineup for the first three games, Adam Rosales got the start at second base and made a quick impact. He was in the middle of a 6-4-3 double play that got Pomeranz out of a jam in the first, and gave the Padres a 3-1 lead in the fourth with a two-run double that drove in Upton and Derek Norris.

Ramirez starts double play

"I went through a little struggle and I was chasing pitches," Rosales said. "I've got to stop doing that. So I've been doing better, getting the ball up a bit. And if I strike out looking at a tough pitch, OK. So what? Tip the cap to him and get my next at-bat."

Gio can't find groove: Throughout Gonzalez's struggles, the Nationals have been able to pinpoint most of his rough outings to one bad inning. Part of the reason for those issues have been his inability to get out of jams once runners get into scoring position. He began the day allowing opponents to hit .411 with RISP, the worst mark in the Majors. The Padres went 2-for-4 off Gonzalez with RISP with a sacrifice fly and four RBIs.

Gonzalez produced a 1.86 ERA after his first eight starts, but it has increased to 4.25.

Gio's great play

"It's frustrating, it's very frustrating," Gonzalez said. "All you can do is keep pushing forward keep going out there and attacking. ... Just one of those games where, it sounds cliche, but you learn from it and move on."

WHAT'S NEXT
Nationals: Washington continues its West Coast swing, traveling to Los Angeles to begin a three-game series against the Dodgers Monday at 10:10 p.m. ET. Stephen Strasburg, who's aiming to improve to 11-0, takes the mound for the Nationals in a marquee pitching matchup against Clayton Kershaw.

Padres: After an off-day Monday, the Padres start a six-game road trip with an Interleague matchup against the Orioles. Rule 5 Draft pick Luis Perdomo opposes Tyler Wilson at 4:05 p.m. PT.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Carlos Collazo is a reporter for MLB.com based in San Diego. Follow him on Twitter @CarlosACollazo.

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.