During batting practice, Giants manager Bruce Bochy noticed batted balls carrying high and far out of Nationals Park.
During the game, Washington’s lineup showed that his perception was accurate.
Ryan Zimmerman, Michael Morse, Jhonatan Solano and Rick Ankiel provided long-ball fireworks as the Nationals rebounded from an early hole for a 9-4 Independence Day victory over San Francisco.
Trailing 3-0 after the first inning, Washington’s power bats sparked the Nationals to a third straight win. After scoring three runs in the third inning, Solano’s solo homer in the fourth and consecutive bombs by Zimmerman and Morse in the fifth — all against the often dominate Madison Bumgarner (10-5) — built a 7-3 advantage.
“It looked like the ball was carrying today, but they put the good part of the bat on it,” Bumgarner said.
The Giants’ left-hander gave up seven runs and nine hits with seven strikeouts and one walk.
Zimmerman’s two-run homer drifted over the right-center field wall and he tallied three RBIs as the Nationals (47-32) improved to 15 games above .500 for the second time this season. Washington has scored a combined 26 runs during the three-game streak.
Pablo Sandoval drove in three runs and had three of the Giants six hits, including a home run and a double. Entering the day atop the NL West, San Francisco (45-37) has lost four of five games, including the first two of a three-game set in Washington.
Edwin Jackson (5-4) tossed 5²⁄³ innings, allowing four runs and five hits with two walks and three strikeouts for his fourth win in five decisions.
Last Thursday, Bumgarner (10-5) tossed a one-hit shutout against the Reds, capping a dynamic 5-0 month of June. But he allowed three home runs Wednesday, something he’s only done one other time in his career.
“You’ve got to give those guys a lot of credit, they were putting good swings on balls,” Bumgarner said. “I’d make some pretty decent pitches, get to two strikes and then leave the ball up over the plate or something for them to hit. I had a hard time finishing guys.”