Strasburg hopes to reverse his fortunes in San Diego

( - Stephen Strasburg tries to put the brakes on a personal two-game losing streak on Saturday when the Washington Nationals close out their four-game series with the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.

Strasburg, who is a native of San Diego, hasn't been able to get out of the fourth inning in either of his last two starts. He fell to 2-4 on Tuesday in Arizona, as he was hammered for eight runs (7 earned) and eight hits in 3 1/3 innings to balloon his ERA to 6.06.

He was forced to leave his previous start after three innings due to a shoulder blade issue.

"There are some things I'm working through," Strasburg told the team's website. "I think in the long run, I'm going to look back on this. I'll think of it as a blessing. I go through times like this. You do your best to stay positive, to be at peace in all situations."

Strasburg is 3-1 in four starts versus the Padres with a 3.24 ERA.

San Diego, meanwhile, will counter with righty Ian Kennedy, who is 2-2 with a 5.92 ERA. Kennedy had a two-start winning streak stopped on Tuesday in Seattle, as the Mariners reached him for five runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings.

Kennedy has faced the Nationals six times and is 3-2 against them with a 2.31 ERA.

On Saturday, Max Scherzer tossed seven strong innings and Washington rolled, 4-1.

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 have won nine of their past 13 against the Padres.