Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Taylor's homer not enough as Nats' skid hits 4

MLB.com @JamalCollier

SAN FRANCISCO -- This road trip began so promising for the Nationals, with a pair of wins over a division rival in New York, which they hoped was a signal they had turned a corner from their sluggish start to the season. Yet, the same troubles have carried over throughout this nine-game road trip, and now after Tuesday night's 4-3 loss the Giants, they have clinched a sub-.500 record on this nine-game, 10-day road trip.

Once again, the Nationals received a solid effort from their starting pitcher, but their offense couldn't take advantage of scoring opportunities. This loss extended their losing streak to four games and they will need a win Wednesday afternoon to avoid getting swept.

View Full Game Coverage

SAN FRANCISCO -- This road trip began so promising for the Nationals, with a pair of wins over a division rival in New York, which they hoped was a signal they had turned a corner from their sluggish start to the season. Yet, the same troubles have carried over throughout this nine-game road trip, and now after Tuesday night's 4-3 loss the Giants, they have clinched a sub-.500 record on this nine-game, 10-day road trip.

Once again, the Nationals received a solid effort from their starting pitcher, but their offense couldn't take advantage of scoring opportunities. This loss extended their losing streak to four games and they will need a win Wednesday afternoon to avoid getting swept.

View Full Game Coverage

"We're going to get out of this," Nats manager Dave Martinez said. "I'm telling you. We're going to get out of this. I just want these guys to understand that, one, we aren't going to put our heads down. Two, we're going to keep battling and things are going to go our way."

Martinez, who is in his first year as manager in Washington, has stayed positive throughout this difficult stretch as the Nationals dropped to a season-low four games below .500 at 10-14. Prior to Tuesday's game, he remarked how a win could give his club a chance at a winning road trip.

Michael A. Taylor provided a jolt of offense when he swatted a game-tying opposite-field three-run home run to right field in the fourth inning to complete a two-out rally against left-hander Ty Blach. For a moment, it ignited the Nationals' dugout on a chilly night at AT&T Park and could have served as a turning point.

Instead, the lead evaporated by the sixth inning when right-hander Tanner Roark surrendered a solo home run to Mac Williamson to break a 3-3 tie. Roark gave up four runs in six innings, but he was ultimately hurt by a pair of home runs -- a two-run homer from Brandon Belt in the third and Williamson's dinger in the sixth.

"The two that I gave up, the home runs, they were just up," Roark said. "And kind of didn't have that extra bite on it."

Video: WSH@SF: Roark strikes out Longoria and strands two

Aside from Taylor's home run, it was another quiet night for the Nats' bats. Their rallies sputtered away each time they attempted to come back and eventually closer Hunter Strickland sealed the Giants' win with a scoreless ninth.

"It seems like a few times every game we hit the ball hard right at someone," first baseman Ryan Zimmerman said. "Obviously that's not everything. We need to get healthy, too. We're playing pretty beat-up right now. Missing some guys, and we've been missing them for some time.

"The last week or so obviously hasn't gone the way we wanted to, but we've got to just keep going. Get our guys healthy. Pitchers have been throwing the ball great. We just haven't been scoring runs for them."

Zimmerman's double play ends Nats' rally
One of the best scoring chances Washington had came in the eighth inning, jump-started by Howie Kendrick's one-out double to center field. Then, the rally ended almost as soon as it began.

The Giants intentionally walked Bryce Harper to set up runners at first and second and Zimmerman jumped on the first pitch right-hander Sam Dyson threw, lacing a grounder with a 104-mph exit velocity, but it was right at shortstop Brandon Crawford, who turned an inning-ending double play.

"Pitch right down the middle," Zimmerman said. "Hit it hard, just hit it on the ground and obviously credit the shortstop. I got a pitch I could do damage with, and I just didn't do it."

UP NEXT
Nationals ace Max Scherzer takes the mound for the final game of this nine-game road trip against the Giants in Wednesday's series finale at 3:45 p.m. ET. Scherzer is coming off a spectacular start with 47 strikeouts and a 1.36 ERA through his first five starts. Jeff Samardzija will be the opposing pitcher for San Francisco.

Jamal Collier has covered the Nationals for MLB.com since 2016. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Washington Nationals