Final

Series: Game 2 of 3

Washington leads 2-0 (as of 7/4)

Game 1: Tuesday, July 3
San Francisco3Final
Washington9
Game 2: Wednesday, July 4
San Francisco4Final
Washington9
Game 3: Thursday, July 5
San Francisco5Final
Washington6

Giants 4

(45-37, 19-21 away)

Nationals 9

(47-32, 22-14 home)

    Coverage:  MASN

    11:05 AM ET, July 4, 2012

    Nationals Park, Washington, D.C. 

    123456789 R H E
    SF 300001000 4 7 0
    WSH 00313002 - 9 12 0

    W: E. Jackson (5-4)

    L: M. Bumgarner (10-5)

    Giants-Nationals Preview

    STATS LLC

    The Washington Nationals can certainly recognize outstanding young pitching when they see it.

    Their hitters likely will when they step into the box Wednesday.

    San Francisco Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner will look to provide an encore to the best performance of his career when these first-place teams continue their series with a July 4 morning start in the nation's capital.

    A rotation currently comprised only of pitchers 28 or younger has posted a major league-best 3.25 ERA and keyed the Nationals' revival.

    Bumgarner (10-4, 2.85 ERA) is still just 22, and the Giants (45-36) hope he keeps shutting down opponents for a long time. He capped a 5-0 June by dominating Cincinnati in a 5-0 victory Thursday, striking out eight in a one-hitter for his first career complete game.

    "By the numbers, it's the best game I've thrown," Bumgarner said. "But I've felt better and gotten beaten up pretty bad. That's the way this game goes."

    Reds catcher Ryan Hanigan broke up Bumgarner's no-hit bid with a sixth-inning single.

    "He's dealing," Hanigan said. "I'm glad I got one. He earned it. He's made adjustments, at least from last year to this year, in terms of how he's throwing."

    Bumgarner has allowed just one earned run over 13 innings in two career starts against the Nationals, but two unearned runs crossed in his seventh inning of work at Washington in a 2-0 loss May 2, 2011.

    He's a grizzled veteran compared with 19-year-old Bryce Harper, who will be facing Bumgarner for the first time. Harper handled left-handers well for the first six weeks of his major league career, but he has just two hits and 14 strikeouts in his last 32 at-bats against southpaws.

    Ian Desmond may be an equally big concern for Bumgarner. The shortstop has gone 13 for 29 (.448) with 10 extra-base hits and nine RBIs in Washington's last seven games.

    The NL East-leading Nationals (46-32) have totaled 60 runs in that stretch, with Michael Morse (15 for 32, eight RBIs) and Ryan Zimmerman (12 for 33, 11 RBIs) also locked in.

    "If they keep hitting the way they're hitting now, I don't see why we can't just run away with this in the second half," Tuesday's winning pitcher Jordan Zimmermann said. "If we keep pitching the way we are, it's going to be tough to beat us."

    Desmond homered Tuesday -- his 14th -- to help make it a rough night for Tim Lincecum as Washington won the series opener 9-3.

    Edwin Jackson (4-4, 3.57) will try to rebound from a similarly ugly start and pitch the Nationals to a fourth straight home win.

    The right-hander had posted a 2.12 ERA in his previous five starts before yielding eight runs and 10 hits in three-plus innings Thursday during the Nationals' 11-10, 11-inning loss at Colorado.

    "The park is definitely not an excuse," Jackson said. "At the end of the day, you have to go out and get the job done and I didn't do a great job today."

    Jackson hasn't beaten the Giants since doing so as a September callup for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2003. His only other starts against them were a pair for Arizona in 2010, and he lost both while posting a 4.85 ERA.

    San Francisco has totaled nine runs while losing three of four, but it still has a half-game NL West lead over the Dodgers.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Gameday Matchup

     San FranciscoWashington
    W-L94-6898-64
    Night62-3668-41
    Grass94-6895-64
    Current StreakL1W2
    Last 105-56-4

    Pitching Matchup

    San FranciscoWashington
    M. Bumgarner
    16-11, 3.37 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/29 at SD
    4.0 IP, 4 ER
    Dec = Loss
    E. Jackson
    10-11, 4.03 ERA

    Last Game:
    10/3 at WSH
    6.2 IP, 1 ER
    Dec = Win

    Gameday Lineups

    NO.San FranciscoWashington
    1. G. Blanco, RF D. Espinosa, 2B
    2. E. Burriss, 2B B. Harper, RF
    3. M. Cabrera, LF R. Zimmerman, 3B
    4. B. Posey, C M. Morse, LF
    5. P. Sandoval, 3B I. Desmond, SS
    6. B. Belt, 1B T. Moore, 1B
    7. N. Schierholtz, RF M. DeRosa, RF
    8. B. Crawford, SS J. Solano, C
    9. M. Bumgarner, P E. Jackson, P