WASHINGTON -- The San Diego hitters looked overmatched the previous two games, and for good reason.
The San Diego hitters gained some confidence Sunday, battering former Padres minor leaguer Joe Ross for 12 hits and five runs in four innings and posting a 5-3 victory against the first-place Nationals. Overall, the last-place Padres fanned 31 times in the previous two games.
"There was a little more focus today honestly," said San Diego right fielder Hunter Renfroe, one of five Padres with two hits. "Maybe Joe didn't pitch the way he wanted to pitch. We were out there with a similar game plan -- staying up the middle with him. I thought we got really good swings off him."
Ross and Renfroe were minor league teammates for the first time in 2013 in the San Diego system with Single-A Fort Wayne in the Midwest League.
"He lost some velocity after about the fourth inning and his slider wasn't as sharp as it had been before," Renfroe said.
The Nationals scored a record 62 runs in the first four starts of the year by Ross. That run support was not as generous Sunday, as everyday starters Daniel Murphy, Jayson Werth, Bryce Harper and Matt Wieters were not in the starting lineup.
"I felt like I was rushing a little bit. I felt like some pitches were there, some pitches I didn't give enough time," Ross said.
Ryan Schimpf hit his 13th homer, and Chase d'Arnaud had two hits and drove in two runs as the Padres avoided a three-game sweep.
Schimpf lined a two-run homer down the right-field line in the first off Ross (2-1) to give the Padres a 2-0 lead.
The Nationals (30-19) trimmed the margin to 2-1 in the last of the first as Adam Lind drove in a run on a fielder's choice. That broke a streak of 14 scoreless innings by San Diego starter Jhoulys Chacin at Nationals Park.
San Diego (19-33) scored again in the second as Chacin had an RBI single to make it 3-1.
Washington responded again in the bottom of the second. Wilmer Difo singled with one out, took second on a Trea Turner single and scored on a single by Brian Goodwin.
But Anthony Rendon took strike three with two runners on to end the threat.
"We had some opportunities to score some runs, but we left some men on base early. Those are opportunities you need to take advantage of," said Washington bench coach Chris Speier, who was filling in for manager Dusty Baker.
D'Arnaud, with his third team this season, had a two-run single in the fifth as the Padres jumped ahead 5-2.
Lind had an RBI double in the fifth to make it 5-3 and send Chacin to the showers, but the San Diego bullpen came through with a strong effort.
The winning pitcher was Kirby Yates (1-0), who came on in the fifth and retired all five batters he faced. Brad Hand pitched the eighth for the Padres. Brandon Maurer threw the ninth for his sixth save as he retired Turner, pinch hitter Murphy and Rendon.
Turner, Difo and Goodwin had two hits for the Nationals.
Ross, whose fastball dropped from 94 mph to 89 during his outing, has made five starts this year and has a 6.18 ERA.
Franchy Cordero had the first two hits of his major league career for the Padres. Allen Cordoba, d'Arnaud, Chacin and Renfroe also had two hits for San Diego, which improved to 10-19 on the road.
"Sometimes you get lucky," Chacin said of his hitting exploits.
But on the mound Chacin gave up eight hits and three runs in 4 1/3 innings.
His teammates, however, came through with 14 hits, including two doubles and a homer.
"The at-bats were good from the beginning. I thought we took a lot of good sliders today which the past two days we did not do. I thought we did a better job overall," said Andy Green, the San Diego manager.
NOTES: The start of the game was delayed 1 hour, 20 minutes by rain ... Washington 2B Daniel Murphy, who has been ill, was out of the starting lineup for the third straight day before he pinch hit in the ninth. Getting rest days were RF Bryce Harper, C Matt Wieters and LF Jayson Werth. Wieters and Werth also pinch hit. ... San Diego 1B Wil Myers, held out the previous two games, started Sunday and went 1-for-5 with two strikeouts. He had 14 strikeouts in his previous 28 at-bats ... Washington RHP Tanner Roark (4-2, 4.32 ERA) will face Giants LHP Matt Moore (2-5, 5.28) on Monday in San Francisco. ... Washington bench coach Chris Speier filled in for the third game in a row as manager Dusty Baker was in California to celebrate the high school graduation of his son, Darren. Baker will join the team Monday in San Francisco. ... Padres RHP Jarred Cosart (0-1, 4.50) will face Cubs RHP Kyle Hendricks (4-2, 3.25) on Monday.