- Associated Press - Sunday, May 17, 2015

SAN DIEGO — Stephen Strasburg rebounded from a rough start to beat his hometown San Diego Padres for the fourth consecutive time, and Bryce Harper and Danny Espinosa hit three-run home runs to power the Washington Nationals to a 10-5 victory on Sunday.

The Nationals (22-17) won the final three games of the four-game series and for the 15th time in their last 19 games.

Justin Upton hit two home runs and Jedd Gyorko his his second home run of the season for the Padres (19-20). San Diego’s revamped roster has scored only six runs in its last three games.

Harper went 3-for-3 with a walk and four RBI. His National League-leading 14th home run was an opposite-field shot to left off reliever Dale Thayer with one out in the seventh inning. Harper also had an infield RBI single and a triple. Needing a double for the cycle, he grounded to first, ending the ninth.

Strasburg (3-4), who went to West Hills High in suburban Santee and pitched for Tony Gwynn at San Diego State, improved to 4-1 against the Padres, including 2-0 at Petco Park.

He was coming off a start he said was “embarrassing,” when he allowed career-high eight runs in only 3 1/3 innings in a 14-6 loss at Arizona. In the outing before that, he left early because of a tight back and later visited a chiropractor.

Given a 7-2 lead, Strasburg pitched into the sixth for the first time in three starts. He allowed three runs and five hits in five-plus innings, struck out seven and walked one. He was chased after allowing a double and single opening the sixth.

Strasburg fell behind, 2-0, after allowing Matt Kemp’s RBI infield hit in the first and Upton’s home run to left with two outs in the third. Upton hit another solo shot in the eighth, off Tanner Roark.

Ian Kennedy (2-3) held Washington hitless for four innings before running into trouble in the fifth and falling apart in the sixth.

Harper tripled into the right-field corner leading off the fifth and Ryan Zimmerman followed with an infield single to third. Kennedy retired Tyler Moore and Jose Lobaton before Espinosa drove an 0-1 pitch into the Jack Daniel’s party deck atop the right-field wall for a 3-2 lead.

Kennedy walked the bases loaded opening the sixth. Lefty Frank Garces entered to face Harper, who hit a nubber down the third-base line for an RBI infield single. Zimmerman hit a sacrifice fly and Moore hit a two-run double for a 7-2 lead.

Kennedy allowed six runs, three hits and four walks in five innings. He struck out six.

Nationals left fielder Jayson Werth missed his second consecutive game after getting hit on the left wrist by a pitch on Friday night. He’ll have an extra day to rest, as Washington is off Monday before opening a two-game series against the New York Yankees on Tuesday night. Left-hander Gio Gonzalez (3-2, 4.25 ERA) is scheduled to oppose right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (3-1, 4.14) in that match-up.


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