The Giants may be tied in the league for come-from-behind victories this season, but there were no comeback threats on Monday night as the San Francisco Giants fell to the Washington Nationals 9-2.
Ryan Vogelsong didn’t have his command from the beginning, missing corners and giving up four runs over the first three innings. Two doubles in the first scored the first Washington run, then Ian Desmond knocked in three more in the second and third innings to open up the game for the Nationals. Desmond went 3-for-5 with a career high five RBI, and is now 5-for-5 with the bases loaded. Vogelsong settled down over the next three innings, but back-to-back base hits in the seventh ended his night.
“He had some borderline pitches and I think he was a little frustrated, but he got the ball up, and the team we’re playing has been swinging the bat well and took advantage of them,” said manager Bruce Bochy.
While he didn’t have his best stuff, Vogelsong left the Giants within three runs and a chance to come back in the game. Unfortunately for San Francisco, George Kontos was unable to limit the damage, and allowed the two inherited runners, as well as three additional runs to give the Nationals an eight-run lead.
Extra base hits were a major part in Washington’s success; the Nationals finished their nights with six doubles and two triples, many of which resulted in a run crossing the plate.
“They’ve been on a roll,” said Bochy. “They came in here with a lot of confidence, and Vogey was a bit off. When you find a team that’s hot with the bats, they’re probably going to take advantage of some of the pitches that are elevated there, and they did.”
The Nationals have now won eight of their last ten games, and the seventh inning marked their 13th big inning – three or more runs in a single inning – in a season. Their nine runs were more than enough for their starter, who improved to 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA against the Giants.
Stephen Strasburg was able to quiet San Francisco’s bats on Monday night, allowing just four hits and one run over six innings of work. Tyler Colvin scored the Giants’ only run against Strasburg, crossing the plate after Brandon Crawford’s RBI single to center.
“When you’re facing a guy like this, you need to have your guy be on the top of his game, and Vogey was just a bit off,” said Bochy.
The Giants reserves gave fans a bit to cheer for in the eighth inning, as consecutive singles from Juan Perez, Gregor Blanco, Joaquin Arias, and Ehire Adrianza scored one more run, but that would be it.
Tonight’s loss snaps the Giants’ five game win streak and their first home loss since May 26 against the Chicago Cubs. San Francisco is 22-10 at home, winning nine of their last eleven matchups at AT&T Park. They’ll look to bounce back tomorrow night, as they welcome back the Nationals for Game 2 of this four-game series.
Madison Bumgarner will face Doug Fister, a 2012 rematch from when Fister pitched for the Tigers in the World Series. Bumgarner has allowed one or fewer runs in five of his last seven games, and the Giants have won six of those starts. While Bumgarner has been better on the road this season, he had an excellent outing in his last home start, allowing just one run on three hits over seven innings while striking out ten against the Minnesota Twins. He’ll take on Fister, who hasn’t allowed more than two runs in each of his last five starts.
First pitch at 7:15.