San Diego, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Max Scherzer tossed seven strong innings and the Washington Nationals downed the San Diego Padres, 4-1, in the third of a four-game set.

Scherzer (4-3) allowed four hits and two walks while striking out 11 for the Nationals, who have beaten the Padres in consecutive games. Denard Span and Yunel Escobar each posted two hits and an RBI.

Andrew Cashner (1-7) gave up four runs -- three earned -- on nine hits while walking two and striking out six for the Padres, who have lost four of their last six.

The Nationals got all the runs they needed in the first inning. Ian Desmond doubled with one out and scored on Escobar's single. After Bryce Harper's single left runners on the corners, Ryan Zimmerman grounded out to score Escobar, and Wilson Ramos followed with a single to plate Harper for a 3-0 lead.

"They got a hold of a couple of balls there in the first," said Cashner. "I didn't execute early, left a lot of fastballs out over the plate. I just have to be better."

Washington added a run in the fourth as Danny Espinosa walked and was able to take third when Scherzer laid down a bunt that saw Cashner throw the ball away. Span followed with a sac fly for a 4-0 lead.

Scherzer went through the San Diego lineup without a blemish the first time around, but got into trouble in the fourth as he loaded the bases with two outs. Will Middlebrooks, though, popped out to end the frame.

San Diego got a man to third in the sixth, but Scherzer again shut the door as he got Justin Upton to foul out to end the frame.

The Padres threatened again the seventh as they had men on the corners and one out, but Scherzer once again held tight and struck out pinch-hitters Derek Norris and Abraham Almonte to end the frame.

Alexi Amarista's RBI single in the ninth broke up the shutout, but Drew Storen struck out Norris to end the game and pick up his 11th save.

Game Notes

San Diego was 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position and stranded seven ... Cashner fell to 2-3 in 10 games against the Nationals ... Scherzer moved to 2-2 in six games against the Padres ... Ramos extended his hitting streak to 18 games.