Just about everything worked out perfectly for Gio Gonzalez in his last outing except the most important thing -- earning the victory.
Gonzalez took a perfect game into the sixth inning of Sunday's start against the Cubs, before allowing just two singles and one walk in seven innings. Also striking out six in the contest, it marked his first scoreless outing since his season debut on April 3 against the Marlins.
However, the Nationals bullpen couldn't hold a 1-0 lead and Gonzalez took the no-decision in an eventual 2-1 loss to the Cubs.
"I thought he pitched well," Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki said after the game. "He was aggressive, threw a lot of strikes with his fastball, got his curveball working early on in the game, changeup middle parts of the game, and at the end, he had everything working, so it was a good outing by Gio."
Since allowing a leadoff home run on May 5 to the Pirates and loading the bases with no outs, Gonzalez has allowed only one run in 13 innings.
He'll be up against Padres right-hander Burch Smith, who is making just his second career start.
While he tossed a 1-2-3 inning in his first career inning against Tampa Bay last Saturday, he surrendered six runs on five hits in the second inning without recording an out.
Throwing too many fastballs in the start, Smith said he plans to throw a few more breaking balls in Friday's contest.
"Mistakes are going to get hit at this level. I [need to] mix it up a little bit better," Smith said. "I'm always going to be a fastball pitcher, but I'll also need to throw some offspeed [pitches] in certain situations, too."
Nationals: Ramos placed on DL
• Washington placed catcher Wilson Ramos on the 15-day disabled list on Thursday with a left hamstring strain and recalled catcher Jhonathan Solano from Triple-A Syracuse.
Ramos re-injured the hamstring Wednesday night against the Dodgers after he singled in the fourth inning. The hamstring started to hurt him two innings earlier after he doubled off Dodgers right-hander Zack Greinke.
Ramos will now go back to Washington this weekend to be re-examined by the team's doctor, Wiemi Douoguih, and is expected to get an MRI.
• Nationals left-hander Ross Detwiler had an MRI on his lower back Thursday after hurting it Wednesday night against the Dodgers.
Padres: Two players improve in rehab
• A pair of Padres took important steps on Thursday in their road to recovery.
Center fielder Cameron Maybin hit in the cage for the first time since injuring his right wrist on April 15, and infielder Logan Forsythe took batting practice at Petco Park for the first time since he had the protective boot removed from his right foot.
"I'm excited," Maybin said. "It's tough watching, but it's also been great watching how great the team has been playing. I'm eager to get back in the mix."
• Carlos Quentin was out of the Padres' lineup for Thursday's game against Washington because he was at the hospital for the birth of his first son, Clark. Quentin's wife and son are in good condition after the birth.
• Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth was scheduled to play for Class A Potomac on Thursday, but he went to see his doctor in New York instead because of tightness in his right hamstring. Werth isn't likely to rejoin the Nationals until the club travels to San Francisco for a series with the Giants beginning Monday.
Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.