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SD@BAL: Cashner goes 7 1/3 strong innings vs. Orioles

Since moving to the starting rotation at the end of April, Padres right-hander Andrew Cashner has been on quite a roll.

In five starts this season, Cashner is 2-2 with a 2.51 ERA, allowing four runs or less in four of the starts.

He'll try for that same kind of success in Sunday's series finale against the Nationals at Petco Park.

While the right-hander didn't factor into the decision in his last start on Tuesday vs. the Orioles, he allowed just two runs -- one earned -- on five hits in 7 1/3 innings. Working quickly throughout the contest, Cashner was able to find success using his mid-90s fastball, changeup and slider.

"A good change and as the game went on, he threw some good elevated fastballs," manager Bud Black said after the game. "But the change has great action. It's a good pitch."

Meanwhile, Dan Haren will be on the hill for the Nationals, hoping to bounce back after his first loss in four starts.

Giving the Dodgers all they could handle, Haren was on the wrong end of a gem by Clayton Kershaw. In a 2-0 loss, the right-hander allowed just two runs on four hits in seven innings. He also struck out four and walked none.

Haren appeared to suffer an injury in the fifth inning, when his spikes got caught on the mound and a pain traveled from his left ankle to his back. However, Haren said he felt fine after the game.

"You are going against a guy like Kershaw. You have to be perfect and I wasn't perfect," Haren said. "I made a few mistakes."

Nationals: Duke called on for Monday start
• Washington manager Davey Johnson has decided that left-hander Zach Duke will start Monday night against the Giants at AT&T Park.

Johnson picked Duke over right-hander Craig Stammen because Johnson didn't want to break Stammen's routine as a reliever.

Johnson hasn't been able to find enough work for Duke this season and the skipper believes a start will get him going. As a long reliever, Duke has allowed 14 runs in 15 innings.

"Stammen has been very good. I don't want to change him out of the role that he is in," Johnson said. "With Duke, he has been basically a starter. I haven't been able to give him the kind of work to keep him sharp. This will help him get back to where he needs to be. It kills two birds with one stone."

Padres: Brach optioned to make room for Quentin
• Reliever Brad Brach, who had the second-lowest inherited runners scored percentage, was optioned to Triple-A Tucson before Saturday's game against the Nationals to make room for Carlos Quentin.

Quentin came back from paternity leave where he missed two games after his wife, Jeane, gave birth to the couple's first son, Clark, on Thursday. Quentin, who wasn't in the starting lineup Saturday, missed two games.

After a good rookie season, Brach got off to a rough start, allowing a grand slam on Opening Day against the Mets, and posting a 4.76 ERA in 17 innings over 19 games.

"Overall, I haven't been pitching to the best of my ability," Brach said. "With teams that are trying to go to the playoffs, you have to be at the top of your game, and I'm not. So I'm going to go and make a few adjustments and hopefully I'll be back soon."

Worth noting
• Johnson announced that Nats outfielder Jayson Werth will miss the three-game series against the Giants because of a right hamstring injury. He was scheduled to rejoin the Nats on Saturday against the Padres, but still has tightness in his hamstring. Johnson said that Werth went to Chicago to see a specialist and will visit the team doctors in DC on Monday.

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