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Punchless Padres have only 15 hits in last 5 games; lose 6-0 to Roark, Nationals

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SAN DIEGO - A bad offensive season for the San Diego Padres is getting worse.

In five games in June, the punchless Padres are hitting just .104 (15 of 144).

Tanner Roark pitched three-hit ball for eight innings and struck out a career-high 11, and Anthony Rendon hit a two-run homer Friday night to lead the Washington Nationals to a 6-0 victory against the Padres.

"It's a combination of a couple of things," manager Bud Black said. "We are not swinging the bats collectively very well. At times, you can look at the pitcher and say he threw a good game. Other times, it's on the offence, it's on the players. Their at-bats may not be up to their norm.

"You have to keep going through it," Black said. "You have to keep your nose to the grindstone and keep working. There is no magic formula to this. You keep working, you keep busting your butt in the cage, you keep watching video, you keep your confidence, you keep telling yourself you're going to have good at bats, you stay together as a team, you hang in there in the hopes that it will turn."

The Nationals won their fourth straight and for the sixth time in seven games.

Roark (4-4) beat the Padres 4-0 at Washington on April 26th, throwing a three-hitter for his first career shutout. He struck out eight that game, his previous career-high.

The right-hander took a one-hitter into the eighth before Rene Rivera hit a leadoff single and pinch-hitter Tommy Medica had a one-out base hit.

On Wednesday, Everth Cabrera bunted for a single in the first inning for San Diego's only hit in a 3-2 victory against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Padres starter Tyson Ross (6-5) had a bad night. He walked Washington's Denard Span to open the game and then allowed Rendon's homer to left field, his ninth.

"A leadoff walk tends to score more often than not," Ross said. "Then, I just missed location with a fastball to Rendon."

Ross was chased during a nightmarish four-run sixth inning in which he had a throwing error, wild pitch, walked two, hit a batter and allowed two hits. Ross allowed an RBI double to Wilson Ramos that bounced over the fence in right-centre and then walked Ian Desmond to load the bases. Ross hit Danny Espinosa on the left knee to force in a run and Nate McClouth hit a two-run single to right to end Ross' night.

"I just kind of lost my release point a little bit," he said. "Through the fifth inning, I think I found my tempo a little bit and was I throwing pretty well. I think in the sixth, there was just something that was a little bit off and lost my release point."

Ross allowed six runs, five earned, on five hits in 5 1-3 innings. He struck out seven and walked three.

NOTES: The Padres placed 2B Jedd Gyorko on the 15-day disabled list with plantar fasciitis in his left foot, retroactive to Wednesday. Gyorko has struggled after signing a $35 million, six-year contract extension in April. He's hitting just .162. Manager Bud Black says Gyorko had an anti-inflammatory shot, will use a walking boot and will wear a strap when he sleeps to keep the arch stretched out. ... LHP Eric Stults was activated from the bereavement list. He's scheduled to start Sunday. ... The Padres will make two more roster moves Saturday, when RHP Andrew Cashner (2-5, 2.35) is due to be activated from the disabled list and start against the Nationals. He's been out with a sore elbow. ... The Nationals will counter Saturday night with Blake Treinen (0-2, 1.40).

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