Baseball / Sports

Nationals rough up Giants' bullpen en route to 14-6 victory

WASHINGTON -- The Giants looked headed for their first series victory over a winning team in nearly three months. Instead, they suffered an epic collapse.

The Nationals scored six runs on eight hits in the bottom of the sixth inning, wiping out a big deficit and kickstarting an offensive explosion. When the fireworks finally stopped, the Giants had lost 14-6 in a game they led 5-0 after three innings. Washington didn't have a hit through the first three frames, but scored 12 on 15 hits from the sixth inning on.

The 14 runs allowed was a season high for the Giants, and it happened on a day that started with loads of promise. Stephen Strasburg had given up just five total runs in his first four career starts against the Giants, but they scored five runs in the first three innings, beginning with Gregor Blanco's leadoff homer in the first. The blast was Blanco's second of the season.

Travis Ishikawa hit a solo homer in the second and the Giants tacked on three more runs in the third on three singles, a double, a walk and a sacrifice fly. Strasburg failed to record an out in the fifth inning for just the second time this season.

Ryan Vogelsong allowed a string of doubles in the fourth inning, giving two of the runs back. Blanco tripled and scored in the top of the sixth to give the Giants a 6-2 lead, but the wheels came off in the bottom of the inning.

A one-out homer by Ian Desmond ended Vogelsong's day, and Jeremy Affeldt didn't record an out before departing. Two doubles and a pair of singles tied the score and Affeldt was pulled with runners on the corners and one out. Jean Machi entered and picked Denard Span off of first base before giving up a go-ahead knock to Jayson Werth.

Adam LaRoche became the ninth straight Nationals hitter to reach base, lining a single to left that drove in the inning's sixth run and put the Nationals up a pair. The eight hits in the inning matched the Nationals' high since moving to Washington in 2005.

The home team was far from done. The Nationals added a run in the seventh and five more during an eighth-inning outburst that included two-run blasts from Bryce Harper and Danny Espinosa.

The Giants gave up a season-high 18 hits. They had not allowed more than 10 runs in any of their first 128 games.

(c)2014 San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)

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