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Padres' Ross gets nod versus Nationals

(SportsNetwork.com) - Tyson Ross tries to carry a terrific month of May into June on Friday when the San Diego Padres begin a three-game series with the Washington Nationals at Petco Park.

Ross put forth one of the best months of his career in May, as he allowed one earned run in five of his six starts. In his last outing on Saturday against the Chicago White Sox he allowed one run in six innings and improved to 6-4 on the year to go along with a 2.85 ERA.

"It was a battle," Ross said. "Anytime you can find a way to get outs when you don't have your best stuff, that's what pitching's all about."

This will be Ross' first start versus the Nationals, but has pitched to a 1.50 ERA in three relief appearances against them.

San Diego managed just one hit on Wednesday against Pittsburgh, but snapped a three-game losing streak nonetheless in a 3-2 win over the Pirates. Everth Cabrera's bunt single in the first inning was the lone hit for the Padres, who scored on a sacrifice fly, an error and a bases-loaded walk.

San Diego starter Ian Kennedy (5-6) allowed two runs on five hits while striking out seven over six innings. He improved to 2-5 at home this season.

It marked the third time in franchise history that the Padres have won a game while recording only one hit. The other two occurrences were April 20, 2010 against the San Francisco Giants and July 19, 1975 against the Chicago Cubs.

"There are a lot of ways to win a baseball game and that was one of them," said Padres manager Bud Black. "When you win a game where you only get one knock, it's a pretty good one. You feel good about it."

Washington, meanwhile, completed a three-game sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday, as Adam LaRoche hit a two-run homer and Doug Fister tossed seven solid innings in the Nationals' 4-2 triumph.

Jayson Werth and Ryan Zimmerman each knocked in a run for the Nationals, who went 5-3 during an eight-game homestand. Fister (4-1) allowed two runs on four hits while striking out five.

"The main focus is staying down in the zone and moving it in and out," said Fister. "They got some nice swings on the ball, but the guys made some nice plays and we play as a team here."

Getting the call for the Nationals Friday will be righty Tanner Roark, who has lost his last three starts, while getting just three runs of support. Roark pitched well in a loss to Texas on Sunday, as he gave up a run and seven hits in seven innings, but fell to 3-4 on the year to go along with a 3.25 ERA.

He's 1-3 with a 2.20 ERA over his last five outings.

Roark had the best showing in his young career against San Diego back on April 26, when he tossed a three-hit shutout.

Washington split a four-game set with the Padres in DC earlier this season.