SAN FRANCISCO — You are forgiven if you forgot the names of some of the things the Giants did Saturday.
They got a “hit with runners in scoring position” and followed that up with the trusty “productive out.” A little later, there was the old “sacrifice fly with a runner on third.” The little things added up to a huge win for a scuffling team. The Giants beat the Nationals 5-3, snapping a three-game skid that’s part of a much larger slide.
Bruce Bochy went for the jugular in an early spot and it paid off thanks to a bullpen that held on for the final five innings. Jake Peavy had good stuff early but gave up a two-run shot to Anthony Rendon in the third and another run in the fourth.
Hard-throwing right-hander Reynaldo Lopez was making his second career start and the Giants repeatedly let him off the hook in the first three innings. They left runners on in the first and third, and in between they left the bases loaded and wasted a leadoff double by Hunter Pence. In the fourth, they finally broke through.
Brandon Belt drew a leadoff walk and Joe Panik singled. After a strikeout, Bochy pushed his chips all-in, pulling Peavy for pinch-hitter Mac Williamson, who walked. Eduardo Nunez followed with a double to right-center that felt like the first second-half hit with a runner in scoring position. That knock scored two, and Angel Pagan’s grounder to first brought the tying run across.
Panik’s sacrifice fly gave the Giants the lead in the seventh. A bases-loaded walk of Trevor Brown added an insurance run.
Starting pitching report: Peavy ended up throwing just 74 pitches. He was charged with three runs in four innings.
Bullpen report: Hunter Strickland seems to have been moved down in the pecking order. Either way, he pitched well.
At the plate: There was a sequence where Madison Bumgarner was on deck, and then Denard Span (bruised quad) came up to pinch-hit. And then Span bunted into a force out and was replaced by pinch-runner Jeff Samardzija. Good times.
In the field: Buster Posey threw two runners out at second and is up to 49 percent for the season. Makes you wonder what Bryce Harper was thinking.
Attendance: The Giants announced a crowd of 41,743 human beings who frankly didn’t give Yusmeiro Petit the ovation he deserved.
Up next: The rough homestand closes out with Matt Cain facing Gio Gonzalez.