Nats eye another win streak in San FranciscoAug 13, 2012 - 4:13 PM (Sports Network) - Gio Gonzalez goes after his 15th win of the year this evening when the Washington Nationals and San Francisco Giants square off in a battle of National League division leaders at AT&T Park.
Gonzalez went the distance to beat the Houston Astros on Wednesday, as he allowed three runs and nine hits and struck out seven to run his record to 14-6 on the year to go along with a 3.32 ERA.
"Gio couldn't have been any better," manager Davey Johnson said. "He pitched an outstanding ballgame. We hug a lot. I'm going to hug him more. My whole bullpen should hug him. What a great effort."
Gonzalez, who's one victory behind New York's R.A. Dickey and Cincinnati's Johnny Cueto for the NL lead, has faced the Giants four times and is 1-2 against them with a 3.42 ERA.
Washington saw its season-high eight-game winning streak come to an end on Sunday in Arizona, as it dropped a 7-4 decision to the Diamondbacks at Chase Field.
Ryan Zimmerman knocked in a run for the fourth straight game as the Nationals lost for only the second time in their last 11 games. They still lead the National League East by 4 1/2 games, as they eye their first postseason berth since 1981 when the franchise was in Montreal.
"We are going to lose just like every one else loses, but we won the series," said Zimmerman.
Even with Sunday's setback, the Nationals have won 12 of their last 14 road contests and own the best road winning percentage (.639) in the majors.
San Francisco, meanwhile, won in thrilling fashion on Sunday, as Hunter Pence's three-run homer in the eighth inning lifted the Giants over the Colorado Rockies, 9-6.
Trailing 6-4, the Giants loaded the based with no outs in the eighth. Melky Cabrera ripped a grounder up the middle and a diving Josh Rutledge got his glove on the ball but was unable to corral it, allowing Brandon Crawford to score. Buster Posey followed with a game-tying sacrifice fly before Pence ripped a fastball into the seats in left-center field.
"It's not really about me, it's about the win and that was huge," remarked Pence. "A lot of things came together for that opportunity to come up and I think everyone enjoyed it on our team."
Cabrera had two hits and three RBI while Buster Posey, Brandon Belt and Ryan Theriot each drove in a run for the Giants, who won for the fourth time in six games and maintained their one-game advantage over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West.
Clay Hensley (4-3) picked up the win after allowing one run on three hits over two innings of relief. Javier Lopez and Sergio Romo combined for a perfect ninth to secure the win.
Tonight, the Giants turn to righty Ryan Vogelsong, who is 10-5 with a 2.27 ERA. Vogelsong scattered three hits over seven scoreless innings to beat the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday, as he earned his third win in four starts.
"I'm just going out there and trying to get outs, trying to go as deep as I can in the game," Vogelsong said.
This will be Vogelsong's first start against the Nationals, but he has faced them four times out of the bullpen and has pitched to a 1.13 ERA in those outings.
Vogelsong may have the added bonus of having Pablo Sandoval back in the lineup tonight. Sandoval has been out since July 24 because of a strained left hamstring. He is batting .299 with eight home runs and 33 RBI on the year.
Washington swept the Giants earlier in the season in D.C.
- WASHINGTON: 14
SAN FRANCISCO: 2
Aug 14 1:31 AM
- Tom Gorzelanny enters the game for the Nationals with none on and two out, batting 4th.
Nationals 14, Giants 2 Bot 7, 2 OutsAug 14 12:43 AM
- Danny Espinosa two-out, two-run Home Run (12) to center scored Tyler Moore. Roger Bernadina due up.
Nationals 14, Giants 0 Top 5, 2 OutsAug 13 11:57 PM
- With Tyler Moore batting, Bryce Harper scored on a Brad Penny wild pitch with two out. None on and Tyler Moore at the plate.
Nationals 12, Giants 0 Top 5, 2 OutsAug 13 11:54 PM
- Kurt Suzuki singled to center scoring Danny Espinosa with one out. On the play, Roger Bernadina advances to third. Runners on first and third and Gio Gonzalez due up.
Nationals 11, Giants 0 Top 4, 1 OutAug 13 11:36 PM
- Roger Bernadina doubled to right scoring Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Morse with one out. On the play, Danny Espinosa advances to third. Runners on second and third and Kurt Suzuki due up.
Nationals 10, Giants 0 Top 4, 1 OutAug 13 11:34 PM
- Gio Gonzalez struck out swinging. Runner on second with two outs and Steve Lombardozzi due up.
Nationals 8, Giants 0 Top 3, 2 OutsAug 13 11:13 PM
- Roger Bernadina singled to second, deflected by the pitcher, scoring Adam LaRoche with one out. On the play, Danny Espinosa advances to second and Michael Morse advances to third. Bases loaded and Kurt Suzuki due up.
Nationals 5, Giants 0 Top 3, 1 OutAug 13 11:10 PM
- Danny Espinosa singled to right scoring Ryan Zimmerman with one out. On the play, Michael Morse advances to second and Adam LaRoche advances to third. Bases loaded and Roger Bernadina due up.
Nationals 4, Giants 0 Top 3, 1 OutAug 13 11:08 PM
- Michael Morse singled to third scoring Bryce Harper with one out. On the play, Adam LaRoche advances to second and Ryan Zimmerman advances to third. Bases loaded and Danny Espinosa due up.
Nationals 3, Giants 0 Top 3, 1 OutAug 13 11:06 PM
- Adam LaRoche walked scoring Steve Lombardozzi with one out. Bases loaded and Michael Morse due up.
Nationals 2, Giants 0 Top 3, 1 OutAug 13 11:04 PM
- Ryan Zimmerman doubled to right scoring Steve Lombardozzi with one out. Runner on second and Adam LaRoche due up.
Nationals 1, Giants 0 Top 1, 1 OutAug 13 10:24 PM
- WASHINGTON: 0
SAN FRANCISCO: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
Aug 13 10:16 PM
- Phillies get even with Nats in DC 1:11a
- Giants prevail in extras on Pagan's inside-the-park HR 11:37p
- Nats seek rebound effort from Haren against Phillies 10:55a
- Rockies try to extend winning streak over rival Giants 9:32a
- Cuddyer productive in return, leads Rox over Giants Sat
- Four-run fifth helps Nats down Phillies Sat
- Nats 2B Espinosa has broken bone in wrist Fri
- Nats seek to get offense going against rival Phillies Fri
- Rockies, Giants try to separate themselves atop the NL West Fri
- Nats slip by Giants in 10 Wed
- Bumgarner, Giants eye sweep of Nationals Wed
- Sandoval's homer in the 10th lifts Giants over Nats Wed