The Washington Nationals rebounded from Friday night’s lop-sided 10-3 loss that snapped their 10-run winning streak against the San Francisco Giants on Saturday by beating their visitors 6-2. Right-handed starter Jordan Zimmermann pitched a solid eight innings while throwing 107 pitches and 78 strikes. He gave up two runs on seven hits – including a Hunter Pence two-run homerun in the first inning – while striking out eight batters.
Washington answered right back after the Giants led off the game with a double hit by outfielder Angel Pagan and the two-run Pence homer; Giants 2, Nats 0. Outfielder Denard Span led off with a triple hit down the right field line off San Francisco’s right-handed starter Tim Lincecum. Third baseman Anthony Rendon followed by drawing a walk before Span scored on a single hit by outfielder Jayson Werth. First baseman Adam LaRoche proceeded to hit into a double play in his at-bat but his efforts sent Rendon around to score; Giants 2, Nats 2.
From the second inning onward, Zimmermann went to work and quieted the Giants’ lineup before left-handed reliever Matt Thornton came in for the ninth to shut things down. Washington’s batting order tacked on a few more runs while Lincecum remained in the game. Their efforts proved successful and they managed to rough Lincecum up enough for him to make an exit after two and two-thirds innings pitched.
Lincecum gave up six runs, four earned, while striking out two and walking four batters on 70 pitches, 39 strikes against the Nationals. Second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera scored in the second inning after drawing a one-out walk and advancing home on a Span single hit to left-center. A string of three-consecutive singles including Span’s initial hit contributed to the three runs tallied in that inning. Rendon reached on a single and advanced to second because of a throwing error made by Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval before scoring on a single hit by Werth; Giants 2, Nats 5.
The Nats scored one more run in the third inning before Linececum was pulled and replaced by right-handed reliever Yusmeriro Petit. Cabrera launched a solo homerun into center field off the Giants’ starter making it Giants 2, Nats 6. Once Petit entered the game, Washington’s offense went quiet. Maybe it’s time for Petit to get a shot at a rotation slot? He pitched a solid four and one-third innings while striking out six batters.
Thornton shut down the game and held San Francisco to two runs when he entered to pitch for Washington in the ninth. He gave up a pair of singles to start but shut the Giants down allowing Zimmermann to tally his ninth win of the 2014 season.