Friars try to stop slide in opener with Nats

Right-hander Andrew Cashner gets the latest chance to end the San Diego Padres' six-game losing streak on Friday night when they head to Nationals Park to open a three-game series with the Washington Nationals.

San Diego's winless drought stretched to six on Thursday, when Allen Webster pitched six solid innings to earn his first major league victory and the Boston Red Sox completed a three- game series sweep of the Friars with an 8-2 victory.

Chase Headley and Jesus Guzman each drove in one run for the Padres. Starter Eric Stults (6-7) lasted just 4 1/3 innings, surrendering four runs on nine hits.

On Thursday in Washington, Wilson Ramos drove in two with a bases-loaded single in the sixth, then crushed a tiebreaking three-run homer an inning later to lift the Nationals to an 8-5 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.

Washington reliever Drew Storen blew a three-run lead after Ramos, who had been on shelf since straining his left hamstring in mid-May, sent a grounder up the middle to put the Nationals up 5-2.

Storen (3-2) gave up a pair of homers in the seventh, a solo blast by Yuniesky Betancourt and a two-run shot by Carlos Gomez with two outs.

The Washington catcher, however, delivered a clutch, two-out hit of his own in the home half of the frame. Ramos followed a Anthony Rendon walk with a smash to left field off Brandon Kintzler, who replaced Tom Gorzelanny (1-1) after Jayson Werth singled to extend the inning.

"They were waiting for me, for my return," Ramos said. "I'm happy, happy for this day. Hopefully, I will help the team win a lot of games."

The Padres and Nationals split a four-game series in California in May, with the Nationals winning the first two and the Padres taking the last two. Washington won three of five games in 2012.

Cashner, a 26-year-old from Texas, was a 3-2 winner over the Atlanta Braves on June 11, but has since gone three starts without securing a decision.

The Padres lost all three games while being outscored, 14-7.

In the three outings, Cashner pitched 20 2/3 innings and allowed six runs on 20 hits with three walks and 11 strikeouts.

His earned run average for the season actually dropped, from 3.52 to 3.31.

He is 2-0 in six career meetings with Washington and beat the Nationals, 13-4, on May 19 with 6 2/3 innings of three-run ball.

Washington replies with lefty Gio Gonzalez, who's unbeaten in six starts since a 6-2 loss to Baltimore on May 27.

He's picked only two decisions in the subsequent six starts - during which Washington is 3-3 - but he's trimmed his ERA from 3.90 to 3.09 and has allowed just nine runs in 40 1/3 innings.

Gonzalez is 1-0 in two career starts against the Padres and got a no-decision when facing them on May 17, when he allowed two earned runs in 6 2/3 innings of Washington's 6-5 win.

The Nationals are 5-5 in his last 10 starts.