Nationals 2, Giants 0

Miguel Tejada knew his none-on, two-out fielding error in the

seventh inning led to the only two runs in the San Francisco

Giants’ 2-0 loss to the Washington Nationals on Monday night.

Still, Tejada was incredulous when his miscue was brought up

after the game, telling a reporter: ”You asked me the question

like we lost the game because of that ball?”

OK, Miggy. Everyone knows why the Giants are losing games – a

lot of them – these days.

Put simply: The World Series champions are having a really rough

time at the plate.

”There’s not much we can do if we’re not hitting,” manager

Bruce Bochy said. ”We’re awful right now. We know it.”

The latest opposing starter to take advantage was Tom Gorzelanny

(1-2), who allowed only three hits in eight innings Monday – his

longest outing in more than 3 1/2 years. Michael Morse and Jerry

Hairston Jr. drove in runs after Tejada’s error, helping the

Nationals win for the fourth time in their last five games.

San Francisco, meanwhile, has lost eight of its last 11, scoring

a total of 23 runs in that span.

”You can put it on the offense,” said Aubrey Huff, who went 0

for 3 and is hitting .190 for the season. ”We’re not doing

anything offensively – including myself. We’re all struggling. I’m

the worst of it.”

He has plenty of company.

The Giants were shut out for the third time in their last six

games, including twice during this series, when Washington took

three of four. Jason Marquis pitched the Nationals to a 3-0 victory

Friday.

”We feed off each other’s outings,” Gorzelanny said.

He gave up Aaron Rowand’s double leading off the game and single

in the third, as well as Cody Ross’ single in the eighth. Drew

Storen pitched the ninth for his sixth save in six chances, closing

out a game that took just 2 hours, 2 minutes – the fastest

nine-inning game in the majors this season, according to STATS

LLC.

”Mixing in and out. Changing speeds quite a bit. Trying to keep

guys off-balance. I wasn’t trying to trick guys. I was trying to

let guys hit the ball,” Gorzelanny said. ”My defense played

outstanding out there. Guys made terrific plays. That’s obviously

key to an outing like this. You don’t just mow down guys as a

pitcher.”

He retired 15 consecutive batters during one stretch and was

helped by a diving catch by center fielder Rick Ankiel on Tejada’s

sinking liner in the fifth.

Bochy was asked whether Gorzelanny’s performance surprised

him.

”Nothing surprises me right now. We’re struggling right now.

We’re seeing some well-pitched games against us,” he said. ”I

think teams are catching us at a good time. There’s no getting

around that.”

Madison Bumgarner (0-5) retired Washington’s first 12 batters

and didn’t allow an earned run but wound up with the loss because

of two unearned runs in the seventh, his last inning. He allowed

four hits.

”It’s a shame we couldn’t get him a win tonight,” Bochy

said.

The first Nationals player to reach base was rookie catcher

Wilson Ramos, hitting cleanup on a day off for first baseman Adam

LaRoche. Ramos doubled to start the fifth and was sacrificed to

third, but Bumgarner got out of it by striking out Morse and

Hairston.

After those back-to-back Ks, those two Nationals had a chat, and

the veteran Hairston encouraged the younger Morse, pointing out:

”Sometimes you have your good months, sometimes you have your bad

months. But you have to keep grinding. He did that. He picked

himself up and got a huge hit for us.”

Indeed, that part of the lineup was trouble for Bumgarner in the

seventh. Ramos reached on a ball that went off Tejada’s glove at

third; it originally was ruled a single, then changed to an error

after the game. That was followed by three consecutive hits for

Washington: Ian Desmond singled, Morse hit an RBI single and

Hairston hit an RBI double.

After coming through there, Hairston said, ”We looked at each

other and kind of smiled.”

NOTES: It was Military Appreciation Night – something that first

was planned in the offseason – and the Nationals offered free

tickets to active or retired military personnel. The announced

attendance was 15,342; the Nationals said they couldn’t say yet how

many free seats were provided. … Gorzelanny hadn’t lasted eight

innings in a game since Aug. 12, 2007, when he threw a shutout for

the Pittsburgh Pirates against the Giants.