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Nationals fail to sweep, drop finale to Padres, 2-1; take 2 of 3 in Petco Park...

Washington’s Nationals took the first 2 of 3 in San Diego, CA but couldn’t complete the sweep, dropping the finale with the Padres, 2-1.

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Washington Nationals v San Diego Padres Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Gio Gonzalez threw 54 pitches in the first two innings, but managed to hold the San Diego Padres to one run on five hits in a six-inning, 110-pitch outing, leaving the game with it tied at 1-1, but the home team scored a run on Nationals’ righty Trevor Gott in the bottom of the seventh, 2-1 Padres, and Washington dropped the series finale in Petco Park.

Gio vs San Diego: After giving up a run on six hits in seven innings against the Arizona D-Backs, and throwing five scoreless against the Philadelphia Phillies in which he allowed a total of two hits, Gio Gonzalez took the mound tonight in Petco Park looking for his third straight and the Washington Nationals’ fourth straight win.

Gonzalez, 32, entered the game with a 2.33 ERA, 2.56 FIP, 16 walks (3.72 BB/9), 42 Ks (9.78 K/9), and a .237/.310/.340 line against in 38 23 IP on the season.

He added two walks to his season totals in the first, stranding two runners in a scoreless, 25-pitch first in which he threw just nine strikes.

Gonzalez was charged with a throwing error after giving up a single up the middle in the bottom of the second, and spiking a throw to first on a swinging bunt by Manuel Margot.

His third walk of the game was a free pass to the opposing pitcher, Joey Lucchesi, to load the bases with one out, but he got two outs without a run coming in and then struck out the side in a 15-pitch third that left him at 69 pitches.

It was 1-0 when Gonzalez took the mound in the bottom of the fourth, courtesy of solo shot by Anthony Rendon, but back-to-back, one-out doubles by A.J. Ellis and Margot tied it up 1-1, and the lefty was up to 97 pitches after he completed a 12-pitch, 1-2-3 fifth.

Gonzalez came back out for the sixth, and worked around a single in a 13-pitch inning that ended his outing.

Gio Gonzalez’s Line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 8 Ks, 110 P, 61 S, 6/2 GO/FO.

Joey Lucchesi [pronounced - LU’KK’HESI]: Padres’ lefty Joey Lucchesi, 24, had a 3.31 ERA, a 3.80 FIP, 13 walks (3.13 BB/9), 40 Ks (9.64 K/9), and a .223/.291/.390 line against in 37 13 IP in the 2016 4th Round pick’s rookie campaign with San Diego.

Lucchesi led all qualified rookies in ERA (3.13), opponents’ batting average (.228) and OBP (.291), and was ranked second in innings pitched (37 13) and third in strikeouts (40) before tonight’s game.

Facing the Nationals for the first time in his career, obviously, the left-hander tossed three scoreless on 40 pitches to start, but his 43rd pitch of the night went out to left-center for a solo shot by Anthony Rendon, 1-0. Rendon’s 2nd of 2018, and first since he came off the DL on May 5th.

Lucchesi worked around a one-out single in a 12-pitch fifth, but a leadoff single and walk in the first two at bats in the top of the sixth ended his outing after just 69 pitches.

Joey Lucchesi’s Line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 Ks, 69 P, 45 S, 5/0 GO/FO.

Fun with Arbitrary End Points: Going back to his five-hit game on April 25th, Nats’ shortstop Trea Turner was 17 for 47 (.362 AVG) with three doubles, two home runs, nine RBIs, three stolen bases, eight walks, and 11 runs scored in 13 games going into tonight’s series finale against the San Diego Padres, who drafted the infielder in the 1st Round of the 2014 Draft, and subsequently traded him to the Nationals as part of the three-team deal with the Tampa Bay Rays that landed Wil Myers.

Turner, 24, was just 1 for 7 with a home run in the first two games of the series in Petco Park, and he was 0 for 2 on the night before he took a leadoff walk from Joey Lucchesi in the top of the sixth, but he force out on a double play grounder off Anthony Rendon’s bat.

He battled for six five pitches in the eighth, but went down swinging at a 2-2 splitter from Kirby Yates. 0 for 3, 1 BB, 1 K.

Rendon Is Back!: Anthony Rendon was 4 for 14 (.286/.412/.429) with two doubles and three walks in four games back from his DL stint heading into tonight’s game, and he connected for his first home run since his third game of the season on April 1st, leaving him 2 for 2 on the night after he’d singled and was stranded in the first.

#DifOBP: An 0 for 4 game in the series opener in San Diego snapped a nine-game hitting streak for Wilmer Difo, who was 13 for 25 (.520/.625/.840) with two doubles, two homers, seven walks, and four Ks in 32 plate appearances over that stretch.

After sitting out of the second of three with the Padres, Difo returned to the Nats’ lineup for the series finale, and singled the second time up, lining a 1-2 sinker to right in the top of the fifth. 1 for 2, but got picked off first base and tagged out in a rundown.

Difo struck out swinging over a full-count slider from Craig Stammen in an eight-pitch at bat in the eighth.

BULLPEN ACTION: Former Nationals’ reliever Craig Stammen inherited a two-on, no-out jam in the sixth, after Joey Lucchesi gave up a leadoff single by Michael A. Taylor and a walk by Trea Turner in front of Rendon, who was 2 for 2 with a single and a home run before coming up for his third at bat. Stammen got a 6-4-3 DP out of Rendon, but walked Ryan Zimmerman to put runners on the corners before popping Howie Kendrick up to keep it tied at 1-1 after 5 and a 1/2.

Matt Wieters doubled to right off Stammen to lead off the top of the seventh, and took third base on a wild pitch with Wilmer Difo up and one out, but Difo went down swinging before a Matt Adams’ liner to third ended the threat. Still 1-1.

Trevor Gott got the seventh for the Nationals and gave up a leadoff single to center by Manuel Margot, who stole second in the next at bat, and took third on a throwing error before scoring on a one-out double to left by Matt Szczur, 2-1.

Kirby Yates threw a quick, 12-pitch, 1-2-3 eighth to keep the Padres up after seven and a half.

Sammy Solis gave up a leadoff walk and one-out single, but got the second out before he was replaced by Shawn Kelley, who got the final out of the inning.

Brad Hand came on looking for his 10th save, and gave up a broken-bat, leadoff single to left by Ryan Zimmerman, but retired the next three Nationals in order to end it. Ballgame.

Final Score: 2-1 Padres

Nationals now 20-18