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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, May 22nd (All times Eastern)

Washington Nationals (23-23) at San Francisco Giants (26-20), 3:45 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Washington - Gio Gonzalez (3-2, 4.01) San Francisco - Madison Bumgarner (4-2, 3.09)

(Sports Network) - Madison Bumgarner didn't have the type of start he anticipated the last time out and looks to redeem himself Wednesday versus the Washington Nationals at AT&T Park.

In a 10-9 setback at Colorado last Friday, Bumgarner yielded a career-high nine runs -- seven earned -- and eight hits, including a grand slam, in 4 2/3 innings to fall to 4-2 in nine starts with a 3.09 ERA. Bumgarner has lost two of his previous three outings since going 3-0 with a 1.55 ERA in his initial six appearances.

Bumgarner, a left-hander, has allowed 13 runs over his past three starts and is 1-2 with a 6.62 ERA in that time. He owns a 2-2 mark to go along with a 3.00 ERA in four career starts against the Nationals.

San Francisco targets a sweep of the Nationals after taking the first two portions of this set, including Tuesday's 4-2 win in 10 innings. Pablo Sandoval was the hero with a game-winning two-run homer in the bottom of the 10th and Gregor Blanco collected three hits, an RBI and a run scored. Blanco's RBI triple in the ninth sent the game into extra innings.

In a battle between two of the NL's top right-handers, Giants hurler Matt Cain did not receive a decision and delivered seven innings of two-run ball. He also struck out seven, while Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg allowed one run through seven innings and also fanned seven batters.

"Facing each other, we thought it'd be a close game," said Cain. "Thought it would come down to the guy who made the most mistakes."

Jeremy Affeldt picked up the win with a scoreless inning of relief.

The Giants are tied with Arizona atop the NL West standings and have won back- to-back games since a three-game slide. They will host Colorado for three games over the weekend.

Washington will close out its 10-game western jaunt Wednesday and is 3-6 so far on the journey. It has lost four in a row and Yunesky Maya was dealt the loss last night after Sandoval's homer.

Ian Desmond had two hits and an RBI and Ryan Zimmerman drove in a run for the Nationals, who dropped to 4 1/2 games behind Atlanta for the NL East lead.

Blanco sent a hit over the head of Nats outfielder Bryce Harper in right, allowing Andres Torres to race around the bases for the game-tying run in the ninth inning.

"I didn't want to hit the wall, for one," said Harper, who hesitated on the hit because of running into the wall last week in Los Angeles. "Of course it crosses your mind after you jam into a wall."

The Nationals will return to D.C. tonight for a five-game homestand versus the Phillies and Orioles.

Taking the mound for the Nationals Wednesday will be Gio Gonzalez. The lefty has recorded two straight no-decisions and previously was in action Friday in a 6-5 win at San Diego. He was reached for three runs, two of which were earned, in 6 2/3 innings and is 3-2 in nine starts with a 4.01 ERA.

Gonzalez, who threw seven shutout innings in a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs on May 12, is 2-2 with a 3.26 ERA in five career starts against the Giants.

Washington claimed five of the six meetings against San Francisco last season, although the lone loss did come at AT&T Park.

05/22 10:29:38 ET

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