The Giants clobbered Ross Detwiler early, but the Nationals (48-32) pulled out some late offense and came back to beat San Francisco, 6-5, to complete the three-game sweep.
Detwiler allowed eleven hits and walked two in only five innings, but somehow managed to keep the Giants to only three runs, including forcing them to strand the bases loaded in the first. As a team, the Giants stranded eleven runners. Detwiler was followed by middle reliever extraordinaire Craig Stammen, who had an uncharacteristically bad outing, allowing two runs in as many innings, boosting his ERA all the way to 1.74. After Stammen, Henry Rodriguez pitched a scoreless eighth and Tyler Clippard (W, 2-2) a perfect ninth, serving as a prelude to the Nats’ dramatic final frame.
While Detwiler struggled, Matt Cain excelled. After allowing one run in the second, Cain shut down the Nats, holding them scoreless for six innings. However, he ran into trouble in the seventh. With one out, Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa blasted back-to-back solo home runs, and Cain was pulled after Jesus Flores flew out to deep center. His replacement, Jeremy Affeldt, promptly allowed three consecutive hits, the third of which was an RBI double by Bryce Harper that scored pinch hitter Mark DeRosa, pulling the Nats to within 5-4. Sergio Romo then replaced Affeldt, who closed out the seventh and pitched a scoreless eighth to send the game into the ninth with the Nats trailing 5-4.
Santiago Casilla entered the 9th for the Giants and allowed a double to Tyler Moore to lead off the inning. Steve Lombardozzi then laid down a sacrifice bunt to get Moore to third, but Casilla was unable to cleanly field the ball and allowed Lombardozzi to reach first safely. Harper then laced a single into right field, scoring Moore and tying the game. The Giants then walked Ryan Zimmerman to load the bases, and got Michael Morse to ground to second and force out Lombardozzi at home. After Morse, Adam LaRoche hit a grounder to the second baseman. Zimmerman was thrown out at second, but shortstop Brandon Crawford one-hopped the throw to first and Brandon Belt was unable to field it cleanly, allowing LaRoche to be safe and Harper to score the winning run.
Champ of the Game: Who else? LaRoche’s walkoff gave the Nats the win.
For the Giants, Cain pitched well enough to have earned the win if the bullpen had held the lead.
Chump of the Game: Zimmerman, who broke from his recent hot streak and went 0-4 with a walk.
For the Giants, Casilla fell apart in the ninth.
Unsung Hero: Harper was 2/2 with runners in scoring position, earning 2 RBIs, and scoring the game winning run.
Romo was the only settling force in a Giants bullpen that was quite shaky tonight.
Next game: Tomorrow v. Colorado, 7:05PM. Pomeranz (0-3, 3.72) v. Strasburg (9-3, 2.81)