WASHINGTON -- Rookie Anthony Rendon's two-run double sparked a five-run fourth inning, and the Washington Nationals beat up on Tim Lincecum in a 6-5 win over the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday.
The Nationals won their fifth game in a row, equaling a season high, to crawl within one game of .500 (59-60) and remain on the fringe of the National League wild-card race.
With the score 1-1 entering the fourth, Lincecum gave up a sharp single to Bryce Harper and a swinging bunt hit to Jayson Werth. After Ian Desmond moved both runners up with a groundout, the Giants elected to intentionally walk Adam LaRoche to face Rendon.
The second baseman laced a Lincecum fastball over the head of center fielder Gregor Blanco to give Washington a 3-1 lead. Kurt Suzuki and Ryan Zimmerman followed with RBI singles, and Lincecum (6-12) uncorked a wild pitch, allowing another run to score.
Jordan Zimmermann (14-6) was the beneficiary of the offensive outburst, cruising to victory with a seven-inning, six-hit performance. He allowed one run while walking two and striking out two.
San Francisco made things interesting with three runs in the eighth, including Brandon Belt's 14th home run of the season, and another in the ninth. However, Rafael Soriano picked up his 31st save thanks to a game-saving, diving catch by center fielder Denard Span with the tying run on second base.
Starved for clutch hitting, the Giants were able to manufacture a second-inning run off Zimmermann. Hunter Pence drew a one-out walk and then stole second. After Pablo Sandoval struck out looking, rookie Roger Kieschnick chopped a single through the middle to give San Francisco a 1-0 advantage.
Entering Wednesday's game, the Giants were hitting just .176 with runners in scoring position over their past 12 contests.
The Nationals drew even using power, as Desmond crushed his 17th home run of the season deep into the seats in left, over the Giants' bullpen. The 448-foot homer was the longest hit at Nationals Park this season and continued Desmond's mastery of Lincecum, as the Washington shortstop is 10-for-14 in his career against the two-time Cy Young Award winner.
NOTES: Washington C Wilson Ramos missed Wednesday's game after injuring his left hamstring Tuesday, but he said it's not the same injury that's landed him on the disabled list twice this season. "I don't feel hurt like I have to go on the DL, so that's good for me," he said. ... The Giants have not recorded more than three extra-base hits in their last 25 games, as 76 percent of their last 196 hits going into Wednesday were singles. "Somebody is going to have to hit a gapper sometime," manager Bruce Bochy said. ... Nationals manager Davey Johnson wasn't entirely bothered by the dugout tiff between Werth and LHP Gio Gonzalez on Tuesday. "It shows there's still life," he said.