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Giants can't contain Nationals' offense in finale

Special to MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- The good news, if there was any, was that the Giants did get two run-scoring hits with men in scoring position.

The bad news was, well, just about everything else. Jeff Samardzija and four Giants relievers yielded a season-high 15 runs and 18 hits, while a Giants lineup missing Buster Posey and Mac Williamson was held in check by Max Scherzer, as San Francisco's season-best three-game win streak came to an unceremonious end on Wednesday afternoon in a 15-2 loss to the Nationals at AT&T Park.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- The good news, if there was any, was that the Giants did get two run-scoring hits with men in scoring position.

The bad news was, well, just about everything else. Jeff Samardzija and four Giants relievers yielded a season-high 15 runs and 18 hits, while a Giants lineup missing Buster Posey and Mac Williamson was held in check by Max Scherzer, as San Francisco's season-best three-game win streak came to an unceremonious end on Wednesday afternoon in a 15-2 loss to the Nationals at AT&T Park.

View Full Game Coverage

Samardzija was hit hard in his second start since coming off the disabled list. He allowed at least two baserunners in each of the four innings he started, and though he worked out of jams in the second and third, a struggling Washington lineup took advantage with three runs apiece in the first and fourth innings.

"He had some tough luck, too, in that game there," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "Infield hit, that ball went off his foot, a fly ball that we didn't quite get to, where he gets out better."

Video: WSH@SF: Samardzija strikes out Harper to end threat

Samardzija was pulled after 3 2/3 innings having allowed six runs, with three strikeouts and three walks. The right-hander is struggling to find his rhythm early in the season after being sidelined for the first 18 games of the season with a strained pectoral muscle.

"It's just a little off," Samardzija said. "I've walked a handful of guys here in the first two starts, which isn't normal, and you're just trying to make up for the little ground you missed in camp."

Video: WSH@SF: Samardzija catches Taylor in a rundown

None of the San Francisco relievers could catch a break from the Nationals' relentless attack, as Washington tacked on two runs each in the fifth, sixth and seventh and added three more in the eighth, led by five hits from Trea Turner, four hits and four RBIs from Andrew Stevenson and three hits and six RBIs from Matt Adams.

Giants starters had entered the game with the best opponents' batting average in the National League, while the San Francisco bullpen had allowed the second-fewest runs per game in the Senior Circuit.

Video: WSH@SF: Turner rips five hits, swipes his 10th base

The Giants were seeking more consistency in their situational hitting, and in that regard, they watched the Nationals put on a masterclass, as Washington plated 14 of its 15 runs with two outs.

"It's just a game where you get down like that and you're looking for someone to put up a zero, and we had a hard time doing that," Bochy said. "Six innings, you put up a crooked number, that's not going to work."

Despite the hot Williamson's late scratch from the lineup, Bochy felt that his hitters got good at-bats early against Scherzer, including back-to-back doubles by Brandon Crawford and Nick Hundley in the second that scored a run, with both hits coming on two-strike counts.

Video: WSH@SF: Hundley rips an RBI double to left in the 2nd

Pablo Sandoval recorded his first multi-hit game of the season, including a sixth-inning RBI double, and reached base three times for the first time since Sept. 19, 2017.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Seeking situational consistency: Sandoval's run-scoring knock and Hundley's RBI double in the second gave the Giants multiple hits with men in scoring position for the first time in the series. Entering Wednesday, San Francisco hitters had hit an MLB-worst .171 in such situations this season.

But the Giants still finished only 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position on Wednesday, and Bochy is looking for his hitters to go to the plate with a more aggressive attitude when they have opportunities to drive in runs.

"You want these guys to be aggressive and want to be the guy up there," Bochy said. "The last thing you want is to be passive up there with runners in scoring position."

Video: WSH@SF: Sandoval lines an RBI double to right field

HE SAID IT
"They're not on track. [Josh Osich] really had some good moments today. Lots of swings and misses. But he also had trouble getting the ball where he wanted at times. I think with [Cory Gearrin], he's probably battling some things a little too much right now instead of just going out there and attacking the strike zone. This happens sometimes with these guys. You're right, Osich had a great Spring Training. This game is all about confidence. They get shaken a little bit, they don't throw the ball with as much conviction, and that's what we've got to get back with both of them." -- Bochy, on the struggles of Osich (1 2/3 innings, four hits, four earned runs) and Gearrin (two walks over one-third of an inning)

Video: WSH@SF: Bochy on Samardzija's start in 15-2 loss

UP NEXT
The Giants are off on Thursday before continuing their 10-game homestand with a four-game series against the Dodgers, including a Saturday doubleheader to make up for an April 6 rainout. Lefty Derek Holland struggled with the long ball in his last start, as three of the five hits that he allowed to the Angels left the yard. He opposes Hyun-Jin Ryu in the series opener Friday at 7:15 p.m. PT at AT&T Park.

Do-Hyoung Park is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area.

San Francisco Giants, Jeff Samardzija