Nationals-Giants Preview

The Associated Press

Pablo Sandoval has continued to pound the Washington Nationals this week.

The opponent hasn't made much of a difference to the red-hot Marco Scutaro.

Both players look to continue their torrid hitting Wednesday as the San Francisco Giants look to sweep the Washington Nationals for the first time in almost five years.

Sandoval has gone 12 for 28 with two home runs and six RBIs in his last eight meetings with Washington, getting two hits in each of the past three.

The third baseman did the Nationals in Tuesday, overcoming flu-like symptoms to connect for a two-run walkoff homer in a 4-2, 10-inning win. He was also 2 for 5 a day earlier but didn't need to deliver any late-game clutch hitting as the Giants (26-20) coasted to an 8-0 victory in the opener of this three-game set.

''We love pressure. It's our favorite part,'' Sandoval said.

He seems to especially enjoy it against the Nationals (23-23), as his other career walkoff homer was a three-run shot versus Washington in a 9-7 home win May 12, 2009.

Scutaro will be trying to match a career-high 20-game hitting streak from the end of last season, as the second baseman has batted .481 during his run.

Scutaro is 8 for 20 in five meetings with Washington while with San Francisco. However, he's 2 for 17 versus Gio Gonzalez (3-2, 4.01 ERA) and went 0 for 5 against him last year.

Sandoval is 1 for 7 against Gonzalez, who's been much more effective at home than on the road.

The left-hander has gone 1-1 with a 6.10 ERA in four road outings compared to 2-1 with a 2.61 ERA in five in the nation's capital.

He was shaky early at San Diego on Friday, giving up two runs - one earned - in the opening inning before allowing one more and exiting with two outs in the seventh of a 6-5, 10-inning win.

"I was able to make some in-game adjustments and get back on track," Gonzalez said. "It's always good when you can do that. It's also good when things go wrong in a game and the team can rally together and still get the win."

Gonzalez has gone 2-2 with a 3.26 ERA in five career starts versus the Giants.

He'll be looking to end Washington's four-game slide, during which it's been outscored 27-7.

Bryce Harper is 0 for 6 in this series, and 2 for 20 in five career games in San Francisco. He'll get his first look at Madison Bumgarner (4-2, 3.09).

The left-hander can help the Giants complete their first sweep of Washington since taking three games at home July 22-24, 2008.

Bumgarner, though, has posted a 6.62 ERA while dropping two of his last three starts. He was battered for a career-high nine runs in 4 2-3 innings of a 10-9 loss at Colorado on Friday.

He's 2-2 with a 3.00 ERA in four starts against the Nationals. Bumgarner tossed a five-hitter for a 6-1 victory in the most recent matchup - and his only home win against Washington - Aug. 14.

What to Read Next