The champs were just a strike away from getting swept out of our nation’s capital.
In the top of the 9th with two men on base and the count full, pinch hitter Hector Sanchez blasted a three-run home run to right off of Nationals closer Rafael Soriano to give the Giants a one-run lead. Sergio Romo would pitch the bottom of the 9th to get a 1-2-3 inning and seal a 4-3 win for the visiting San Francisco Giants (53-67).
With the win, the Giants avoid getting swept in three games by Washington Nationals (59-61).
Playing behind Buster Posey as a catcher, Sanchez hasn’t had many opportunities this season to make a significant impact. His homer tonight was his first long ball hit all season and it came at a crucial time.
As for leading up to it, the Giants had trouble with offense for the most of the series and it showed again tonight. The Giants only scored one run before the 9th with Brandon Belt hitting his 15th home run to left center in the 6th inning.
Belt has been the one bright spot for the Giants as of late. In August, 25 year-old first baseman is batting .400 with 5 home runs.
Nationals starter Dan Haren kept the Giants in check in a no decision effort allowing just the one run on Belt’s homer in six innings of work. The Giants had a chance to score runs off of Haren in the 1st inning loading the bases with two-outs. However, Pablo Sandoval failed to capitalize fouling out to 3rd to retire the side.
The Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong, however, couldn’t go more than 3 2/3 innings. Vogelsong had a rough 3rd that began with a leadoff hit by Nationals outfielder Denard Span. Then with two outs and runners on 2nd and 3rd, Nats shortstop Ian Desmond hit a two-run double to left center to get Washington on the scoreboard first.
The next batter was first baseman Adam LaRoche who hit a single to left just out of the reach of rookie Roger Kieschnick allowing Desmond to score from 2nd.
Vogelsong would depart in the 4th inning with two outs after walking Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman to put runners on the corners. When he left, Vogelsong’s pitch count was at 92.
Jose Mijares would relieve Vogelsong and get outfielder Bryce Harper to line out to left to end the inning.
The Giants bullpen took over and managed to hold the Nationals to just two hits for the rest of the game. Though in the 7th, reliever Sandy Rosario was struck in the chest by a line drive off the bat of Adam LaRoche. Rosario would make the out at first but had to leave the game after just facing one batter.
The 9th came around and the Giants lead off the inning with a single by Buster Posey. However the next two batters would get out with Hunter Pence striking out and Pablo Sandoval flying out to right.
Posey would then take 2nd during Kieschnick’s at bat without a throw. Kieschnick himself would get walked, his second base-on-balls of the day. After that, Sanchez hit his go-ahead home run.
Game one of the series was a 4-2 Nationals win. It turned out to be bullpen vs. bullpen as a rain delay forced starters Madison Bumgarner and Gio Gonzalez to leave after just four innings pitched for their respective teams.
San Francisco reliever Guillermo Moscoso allowed a two-run home run to Adam LaRoche in the 6th which gave Washington the lead they would not lose.
The Giants almost came back from a five-run deficit in game two on Wednesday night scoring four runs in the 8th and 9th innings. However, with the tying run on 2nd, Denard Span playing in center made a diving catch on Hunter Pence’s fly ball to end the game and seal a 6-5 win for the Nationals.
The Orange and Black now leave D.C. and head for Miami to take on the Marlins (46-73). San Francisco’s probables are Chad Gaudin (5-2), Matt Cain (7-8), and Madison Bumgarner (11-7). Miami’s probables are Nate Eovaldi (2-2), Henderson Alvarez (2-1), and Tom Koehler (3-8).
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Written by Daniel Trucios