Giants 4, Nationals 3, 13 innings
SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—The game featured a controversial RBI ground-rule double, a rare caught stealing that went pitcher-first baseman-pitcher, and a heads-up unassisted double play. San Francisco’s Omar Vizquel and Washington’s Jose Guillen were involved in almost all of it.
The only thing they didn’t control were the two rain delays.
Vizquel doubled home the winning run in the 13th inning for his third RBI of the game and the Giants ended their season-worst, four-game losing streak with a 4-3 win over the Nationals on Sunday.
Vizquel lined a double to right-center off Jon Rauch (1-2) that got past Guillen—the right fielder came in thinking Vizquel would bunt—and scored Jason Ellison, who singled to start the inning and went to second on a wild pitch. The Giants earned their third extra-inning victory in as many tries and played their longest game of the year at exactly four hours, surpassing a 4-3, 13-inning win over Arizona last month that went 3:46.
“With a runner at second, I wanted to get a hit and win the game,” Vizquel said. “I was obviously trying to hit it to right field to advance the runner. It was a big win, especially the way we’ve been playing lately. We haven’t been getting the breaks.”
The Nationals missed a chance for their first road sweep of the year and saw their winning streak snapped at three. They had been 2-0 in extra innings.
Jason Christiansen (2-0) pitched 1 1-3 innings for the win.
Jamey Carroll matched his career high with four hits when he singled with one out in the 12th, but Washington left runners on the corners in the inning. Playing in place of injured second baseman Jose Vidro, Carroll went 8-for-13 (.615) in the series.
Carroll singled leading off the 10th, stole second and advanced on Guillen’s sacrifice bunt. Tyler Walker intentionally walked Vinny Castilla, then Scott Eyre entered and struck out Nick Johnson before getting Endy Chavez to ground into a fielder’s choice.
“I think we proved something tonight as far as the bullpen,” Christiansen said. “Picking each other up, that’s what we strive for.”
Lance Niekro led off San Francisco’s ninth with an infield single, then went to second on Yorvit Torrealba’s sacrifice bunt. Guillen turned an unassisted double play when he caught a flyball in shallow right field by Deivi Cruz and ran to second to get Niekro, who had rounded third.
The Giants tied it in the eighth on Edgardo Alfonzo’s RBI ground-rule double to the corner in left that scored Vizquel, who started the rally with a two-out single. A fan interfered with Alfonzo’s hit, but the umpires determined the speedy Vizquel would have scored anyway.
Nationals manager Frank Robinson was furious, arguing the play near the mound after coming out to make a pitching change.
“In their opinion, he would have scored. In my opinion I don’t know if you can say he would have scored,” Robinson said. “He was 10 or 15 feet from third base. How do you know he would have scored?”
Brad Wilkerson was playing left field at the time and disagreed with the call.
“It has to be obvious and it wasn’t,” he said. “It was a tough game to lose. Some calls went against us, but that’s no excuse. We just couldn’t put something together.”
Guillen homered and hit a sacrifice fly, and starter Esteban Loaiza pitched into the eighth, but it wasn’t enough.
Vizquel drove in the first two runs for San Francisco in a game that started 25 minutes late because of heavy morning rain. The precipitation returned in the seventh and sent fans scattering—and led to a 20-minute delay.
Fans chanted “Let’s play ball! Let’s play ball!” and gave the grounds crew a standing ovation when the tarp was being removed.
Just before the delay, the Nationals took a 3-2 lead on Michael Tucker’s misplay of a flyball to center by Guillen for an error that allowed Carroll to score from first.
The Nationals produced 10 or more hits for the sixth straight game and seventh in eight, but needed Carroll’s 10th-inning single to get No. 10.
Guillen connected for his team-leading eighth homer this year in the first, a solo shot over the left-field wall from Giants starter Kirk Rueter, who went seven innings for the second straight start. Guillen’s sacrifice fly in the fifth made it 2-1.
Vizquel has a 10-game hitting streak. … Nationals reliever Hector Carrasco has worked a combined 15 scoreless innings in 15 appearances with Washington and Triple-A New Orleans, nine of those outings with the Nats. … The Nationals are 7-2 against the NL West. … Giants 2B Ray Durham, nursing two strained groins, is expected to return to the starting lineup Monday against Pittsburgh after missing the last three games. He entered in the eighth as a pinch-hitter and grounded out to shortstop. … After the game, the Nationals sent OF J.J. Davis outright to Triple-A New Orleans and activated INF Henry Mateo from the 15-day disabled list. He has been nursing tendinitis in his right shoulder. … San Francisco 1B J.T. Snow missed the game with a stomach virus.