- Associated Press - Sunday, June 19, 2016

SAN DIEGO — Drew Pomeranz withstood three solo home runs, two by Michael A. Taylor, over six innings on Sunday afternoon as the San Diego Padres beat the Washington Nationals, 6-3, to force a split of the teams’ four-game series.

He allowed a leadoff home run to Taylor, then was tagged by Danny Espinosa and then Taylor again in the fifth inning to push his ERA to 3.00.

“I obviously made three main mistakes,” Pomeranz said, “and they capitalized on them.”

The left-handed Pomeranz had lost four of his previous five decisions and was pulled at the start of the seventh inning after allowing six hits and striking out seven batters.

“They’re a good hitting team,” Pomeranz said. “I felt like I was pretty efficient, pitched pretty well. I feel like I was in good counts for the most part. I guess that I made those three mistakes, but other than that, I was pretty much right where I wanted to be with everything.

“I could have made a few more pitches here and there obviously, but you know, I’m happy with it.”

Fernando Rodney pitched the ninth for his 14th save in as many chances for the Padres (29-42) and ran his streak to start the season to 25 1/3 scoreless innings, the second-longest streak by a Padres pitcher to begin the year since Randy Jones went 26 innings in 1975.

“It’s pretty unbelievable,” Pomeranz said. “We just want to rush through the eighth inning with a lead and just get to him out there.”

Taylor went 4-for-4 and was a triple shy of the cycle for the Nationals (43-27), who won the first two games of the series before succumbing over the weekend.

Gio Gonzalez (3-6) left after 5 1/3 innings and allowed six runs, five of which were earned, with eight hits and four walks. He had three strikeouts and lost his fifth consecutive decision.

“It’s very, very frustrating,” Gonzalez said. “All you can do is keep pushing forward. But I had pitches that I left up just enough where they got hits.”

Added manager Dusty Baker: “It just seems like he can’t stay out of one [bad] inning.”

Adam Rosales drove in two runs with a double to deep center field in the fourth inning, and Melvin Upton Jr., who scored on Rosales’ drive and again in the fifth inning, went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles.

With the Nationals trailing, 5-3, Murphy nearly tied the score in the sixth inning but was denied by Travis Jankowski. The Padres‘ center fielder, stepping in after Jon Jay bruised his right forearm in the fourth, raced to the fence and made a leaping catch with a man on base.

Taylor smoked Pomeranz’s first pitch for a home run. It was the fourth time Washington had a leadoff home run this season, three by Taylor.

“They outplayed us the last two days and I’m not real happy about it,” Baker said.

Right-hander Stephen Strasburg will put his 10-0 record on the line on Monday as the Nationals continue their road trip with a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Strasburg is scheduled to oppose the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw (10-1).

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