The Washington Nationals will try to gain ground in the crowded NL East on a three-game road trip to San Diego, beginning Friday.
The Padres, meanwhile, will try to avoid falling out of the NL West race as they host Washington in the second segment of a six-game homestand. They'll send their winningest pitcher, Tyson Ross, to the hill.
Ross (6-4, 2.85 ERA) was dominant in May, allowing one earned run in five of his six starts. In his last outing he allowed one run in six innings to pick up a road win over the White Sox. Opponents are hitting .241 against him.
Washington will counter Tanner Roark (3-4), as the second-year starter hopes to continue his hot streak. Roark allowed just one earned run in seven innings in his last start vs. the Rangers but was outdueled by Yu Darvish and took his fourth loss. The lone run came on a Leonys Martin homer.
Since May 3, Roark's ERA has dropped from 4.17 to 3.25. In the five starts since then, he hasn't allowed more than three runs, giving up one run three times.
Washington has won five of its last six contests, including a home sweep over Philadelphia, after losing six of seven games from May 21-28.
The Padres snapped a three-game losing streak in their last game Wednesday against the Pirates, winning 3-2 despite mustering just one hit -- a bunt single -- and hitting it to a Pittsburgh outfielder once, which occurred on their final out.
Padres: Gyorko struggling with plantar fasciitis
Second baseman Jedd Gyorko was out of the starting lineup Wednesday and not available to pinch-hit because of plantar fasciitis in his left foot.
Gyorko said that he first felt pain in his foot May 30 when the Padres were in Chicago to play the White Sox.
"It got progressively worse from there," he said.
Gyorko said that he's received a cortisone shot and is wary of how tricky these injuries can be, after he watched former teammate, infielder Logan Forsythe, deal with them in recent years.
The Padres have not announced a roster move on Gyorko, but it's all but certain he'll end up on the 15-day disabled list before Friday's game against the Nationals.
Gyorko has the lowest batting average among qualifying players in the big leagues (.162).
Nationals: Zimmerman adjusting to outfield
Upon returning from a 44-game stint on the disabled list Tuesday, Ryan Zimmerman played in the outfield for the first time in his lengthy career with the Nationals.
Zimmerman has changed positions to make way for another youngster at third base, Anthony Rendon.
After more than 1,100 games at third base, Zimmerman thinks he can make the adjustment after winning a Gold Glove at third base in 2009.
"I feel like I'm athletic enough to blend in and not cause problems," said Zimmerman, who had to borrow teammate Jayson Werth's glove in his first game in the outfield.
The Nationals will likely depend more on Zimmerman's bat than his glove the rest of the season. In his return on Tuesday against the Phillies, he hit two doubles and his slash line is .375/.409/.650 on the season.
With Zimmerman in the starting lineup this season, the Nationals are 8-4 and score 6.4 runs per game (77 runs, 12 contests). In 46 games without him, Washington has averages of 3.6 runs a game (164 runs, 46 games) and is 22-24.
• Padres closer Huston Street has converted all of his 18 save chances, and 103 of his last 110 dating back to the start of 2011. The 93.6 percent success rate ranks first in MLB during that time.
• Roark has lost has last three starts despite allowing just five earned runs in 20 innings, as the Nationals have given him just three total runs of support.
Will Laws is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.