MLB: Giants get back on track with 4-2 win over Nationals
By Alex Pavlovic
San Jose Mercury News
SAN FRANCISCO — Edgar Renteria's flare to left won't look like much in the box score, but the way the San Francisco Giants offense had been going, it might as well have been a 550-foot blast into McCovey Cove.
The fifth-inning single brought Todd Wellemeyer home, snapping a streak of 24 consecutive scoreless innings. The Giants had gone 25 at-bats with a runner in scoring position without a hit, but Renteria's knock opened the floodgates.
San Francisco tacked on three more in the inning, and snapped a five-game losing streak with a 4-2 win over the Washington Nationals at AT&T Park on Tuesday night.
Wellemeyer more than held up his end on the mound. The right-hander had been in danger of losing his spot in the rotation but looked sharp against Washington, allowing two earned on four hits in six innings.
Wellemeyer (3-4) improved to 3-1 with a 3.03 ERA at home this season.
He ran into trouble in the seventh and left with a run in and two runners on, but relievers Sergio Romo, Guillermo Mota and Brian Wilson combined for three hitless innings of relief.
When the Giants wasted a leadoff double by Andres Torres and stranded Renteria on third in the fourth inning, there appeared to be no end in sight to a scoreless streak that started in the eighth inning of Friday night's loss to the A's.
But after three games of hitting hard shots in all the wrong spots, the team caught a break in the fifth inning when Wellemeyer's soft fly ball landed just inside the line in right. Torres followed with a single up the middle, setting up Renteria, who is 4 for 10 since returning from the disabled list.
Mired in a five-game losing streak, manager Bruce Bochy has repeatedly stressed that all it would take was one or two guys to get the whole lineup going.
Renteria's single did the trick.
Freddy Sanchez followed with a two-run double to right, and Pablo Sandoval brought him home with a double to deep center.
For the second straight game, Bochy made big changes to the lineup in search of a spark. Torres was moved to the leadoff spot Sunday, and for Tuesday's series opener, three players were on the move in the field.
Juan Uribe was back in the starting lineup at third base, which moved Sandoval to first and Aubrey Huff to the outfield for the first time since 2006.
"There's no getting around it, we're having a tough time putting runs on the board, so we're trying different things to see if they can get going," Bochy said before the game. "It's really the same guys, but we mixed it up to hopefully get the offense going.
"That's our biggest issue and we know it."
The Giants pulled out of their collective slump, and as an added bonus, the new-look defense didn't lead to any problems.
Huff told Bochy that he felt comfortable playing left field, and he looked it.
The first ball of the game was hit right at him, and he later made a nice running catch on the warning track. Sandoval was also tested right off the bat, but he had no problems coming up the line and applying an inning-ending swipe tag when Renteria's throw sailed wide in the first.
With San Francisco nursing the lead late, Huff was replaced in left and Sandoval and Uribe returned to third and short, respectively.
The Giants have just one error in their past 11 games, and their 17 errors on the season are the fewest in the National League.