Nationals-Giants Preview

The Associated Press

It's been a fun two weeks for the red-hot Washington Nationals, who have seen their success carry to the Bay Area.

The San Francisco Giants surely can't wait for them to leave town.

Washington goes for a season-best fifth consecutive win and four-game sweep over the Giants on Thursday.

The Nationals (35-29) have won four straight and 10 of 12 to move into first place in the NL East. Jayson Werth went 2 for 4 with a homer and three RBIs in Wednesday's 6-2 victory, Washington's sixth in seven road games.

"We're playing great as a team right row," winning pitcher Tanner Roark said after throwing six-plus innings. "Just keep it going. It's exciting."

The Nationals haven't swept the Giants in San Francisco since May 12-14, 2003. Their last four-game sweep in the series came later that year from Aug 15-18.

The Giants (42-24) are on the verge of their longest losing streak of the season after scoring a combined five runs against Washington. San Francisco, which had won 14 of its previous 17, has gone 2 for 15 with runners in scoring position over the last two games. Hunter Pence is 2 for 13 over a four-game stretch, and leadoff hitter Angel Pagan is 1 for his last 10.

''We're going through a rough spot,'' Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. ''What's important is how we deal with it.''

San Francisco will try to bounce back behind Tim Hudson (6-2, 1.97 ERA), who is the first pitcher in Giants history to post an ERA below 2.00 through his first 12 starts with the team. The veteran right-hander threw 14 scoreless innings in winning back-to-back outings before allowing three runs over five innings in Saturday's 5-4 walkoff victory over the New York Mets.

The Giants have won each of his six home starts.

"I'm as proud of this game as I have been of any of them," said Hudson, who allowed season highs of nine hits and three walks.

Hudson went 2-0 with a 0.84 ERA in three meetings against Washington with Atlanta last year. He is 16-5 with a 2.45 ERA lifetime against the Nationals franchise, his second-most wins against any team.

Hudson has made things difficult on Adam LaRoche (6 for 29), Danny Espinosa (5 for 27 with 10 strikeouts) and Denard Span (2 for 13). Werth has hit him hard, though, going 15 for 39 with three homers and four doubles.

Nationals rookie Blake Treinen (0-2, 1.78) is set to take the mound for his fourth big league start. The right-hander allowed two runs over six innings and left in line for the win Saturday at San Diego before the bullpen blew the lead in a 4-3, 11-inning defeat.

"I felt good physically," said Treinen, who was removed after throwing just 63 pitches. "The situation has been told to me that when I get some more starts under my belt, I'll be able to go longer."

The Nationals placed catcher Wilson Ramos on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a right hamstring injury. Ramos was hitting .346 over a 13-game stretch.

Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval was scratched due to an illness Wednesday before delivering a pinch-hit RBI single. Sandoval, a career .319 hitter against the Nationals, could be back in Thursday's lineup.

What to Read Next