Nationals-Giants Preview

Jonathan Sanchez has had difficulty finding the strike zone this

season, but wildness hasn’t kept him from posting a winning record

for the San Francisco Giants.

After rallying late and winning in extra innings, the Giants

will try to make it two straight over the Washington Nationals on

Tuesday night when the teams resume their three-game series.

Trailing 4-0 after three innings, San Francisco got a solo homer

from Aaron Rowand in the seventh. Then Aubrey Huff had a two-run

single and scored on Nate Schierholtz’s base hit in the eighth to

make it 4-all.

San Francisco (34-26) won 5-4 in 13 after Freddy Sanchez singled

off Craig Stammen to plate Chris Stewart. It was the Giants’ fifth

victory in six games, and increased their lead in the NL West over

idle Arizona to one game.

“We’ve done some crazy things this year and some crazy things

last year. We’re never out of a game,” Stewart said following the

Giants’ eighth walkoff win.

Michael Morse homered and had a two-run double for Washington

(27-33). He’s had three hits – two homers and a double – with seven

RBIs over the last two games.

Though he’s had a hard time with location, Sanchez (4-3, 3.50

ERA) will try to remain unbeaten at home for the Giants.

The left-hander leads the NL with 40 walks in 69 1-3 innings

after issuing a season high-tying six Thursday against St. Louis.

However, he allowed three runs and four hits in 5 1-3 innings and

was helped by three homers from Aubrey Huff as San Francisco won

12-7.

When locked in, though, Sanchez is one of the toughest to get a

hit against. He comes in with a .204 opponent batting average –

third lowest in the league behind Florida’s Josh Johnson (.185) and

Atlanta’s Tommy Hanson (.202).

Sanchez also walked six in six innings on April 30 in

Washington, but fanned seven and yielded one unearned run with two

hits and didn’t figure in the Giants’ 2-1 win.

He’s never started at home against Washington, but has a 7.71

ERA after his only appearance in San Francisco against the

Nationals in 2007.

Sanchez, 2-0 with a 3.21 ERA in five starts in San Francisco,

hasn’t pitched there since May 22 when he failed to get a decision

against Oakland.

Continuing to impress in his first full season back from Tommy

John surgery, Jordan Zimmerman (3-6, 3.61) seeks his second win on

the road trip for Washington. The right-hander shut down the

Diamondbacks on Thursday, allowing one run and six hits in seven

innings of the Nationals’ 6-1 win.

Zimmerman had been 0-2 with a 3.28 ERA in his previous four

starts, but manager Jim Riggleman likes what his pitcher has

accomplished after surgery in 2009 followed by seven late-season

starts last year.

“I’m happy for him and what he’s done for our ballclub, coming

from where he did after that surgery and everything, to just keep

coming back from it,” Riggleman said. “He’s just a horse.”

Zimmerman, who didn’t get a decision in his only appearance at

AT&T Park in 2009, is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in three career

starts against San Francisco.