WASHINGTON (CBS / AP) — The Washington Nationals’ winning streak ended at a team record-tying 10 games Friday night when rookie Joe Panik hit his first major league home run and sent the San Francisco Giants to a 10-3 romp.
Panik went 4 for 5 in his first four-hit game, highlighted by his three-run shot to center field.
Tim Hudson and four relievers quieted bats of the Nationals, who apparently don’t have an inexhaustible supply of comeback wins and last-at-bat heroics. During their success streak, Washington had seven one-run victories, five come-from-behind wins and five walk-offs.
Hudson (9-9) allowed one earned run over 5 1-3 innings for his first since win July 19. Javier Lopez, Jean Machi, Sergio Romo and Juan Gutierrez finished the job for the Giants, who have won six of eight.
Doug Fister (12-4) threw six innings and uncharacteristically gave up a pair of homers — Nos. 12 and 13 allowed this season.
The Nationals’ winning run had become suspense baseball theater at its best, always with a happy ending for the team in red and white. The staff ERA over during the streak was 1.82, and there were regular Gatorade baths for the player who inevitably would get the game-ending hit.
Manager Matt Williams found himself having to answer to a promise he made to a television network earlier this season about doing his famous Babe Ruth impersonation if his team won 10 in a row. He says he’ll do it eventually, but that the middle of a pennant race is not “the proper time.”
Fister looked set to keep it going. He had a 1-0 lead and appeared in little danger when he retired the first two batters of the fourth. He then induced a chopper up the middle from Pablo Sandoval, but the ball bounced so high that it became an infield hit.
That was enough to start the game-turning rally. Michael Morse followed with a single, and Panik put the next pitch just right of the 402-foot mark to give the Giants a 3-1 lead.
Jayson Werth’s solo homer led off the fourth to cut the Nationals’ deficit to one, but Buster Posey matched him in the sixth to make it 4-2. Travis Ishikawa added insurance with a two-run double in the eighth, and the Giants pounded Ross Detwiler for four runs in the ninth.
Giants: 1B Brandon Belt (concussion) was moved from the seven-day disabled list to the 15-day DL. He hasn’t played since Aug. 6.
Nationals: OF Nate McLouth had surgery on the torn labrum in his right shoulder. “It went fine and it’s all put back together,” Williams said. The Nationals expect McLouth recover in time for spring training.
San Francisco’s Tim Lincecum (10-8, 4.48 ERA) faces Jordan Zimmermann (8-5, 2.97) on Saturday in the second game of the three-game series.
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