(July 5, 2012) -- An error-plagued ninth inning doomed the visiting Giants to a 6-5 loss Thursday night to the Washington Nationals, who completed a three-game series sweep.
The Giants entrusted a 5-4 lead to closer Santiago Casilla, who began the ninth by yielding pinch-hitter Tyler Moore's double. Casilla fumbled Steve Lombardozzi's sacrifice-bunt attempt and was charged with a fielding error, leaving runners at the corners.
Bryce Harper's single to right field scored Moore. Then Casilla walked Ryan Zimmerman intentionally to load the bases. After Michael Morse's grounder forced Lombardozzi at home, Adam LaRoche hit a potential double-play grounder to second baseman Ryan Theriot. Shortstop Brandon Crawford took Theriot's relay at second base and flung a one-hop throw to first baseman Brandon Belt, who couldn't hold onto the ball. That enabled Harper to score the winning run.
Giants starter Matt Cain had worked 6 2/3 effective innings, yielding three runs and six hits. He received support from Justin Christian (3-for-5, three runs scored), Melky Cabrera (three RBIs) and Angel Pagan (3-for-5, two RBIs).
But though the Giants led 5-1 entering the seventh inning, Washington crept back into the game with three runs, San Francisco wasted about as much offense as it generated, stranding 11 runners.