Final

Series: Game 1 of 3

Washington leads 1-0 (as of 7/31)

Game 1: Monday, July 31
Washington10Final
San Francisco7
Game 2: Tuesday, August 1
Washington4Final
San Francisco1
Game 3: Wednesday, August 2
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San Francisco8

Nationals 10

(47-59, 21-35 away)

Giants 7

(51-55, 29-25 home)

    10:15 PM ET, July 31, 2006

    AT&T Park, San Francisco, California 

    123456789 R H E
    WAS 100500040 10 14 0
    SF 010020130 7 15 0

    W: P. Astacio (2-1)

    L: N. Lowry (5-7)

    S: C. Cordero (18)

    Soriano stays put; Nats send Giants to eighth straight loss

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Alfonso Soriano reminded the Nationals why they should be happy to still have him around.

    He hit a two-run double in the five-run fourth inning of Washington's 10-7 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Monday night, and also singled twice, scored two runs and stole his 27th base.

    All of this to help Washington end a three-game losing streak only hours after Soriano learned he would not be dealt before the non-waiver trading deadline as everyone expected.

    "Just to have him in our corner is going to help our team, help our lineup," center fielder Ryan Church said. "We know every day he's prepared and we know he's going to come through in big situations. He did it again tonight. You don't want him on the other team."

    The Nationals batted around in the fourth, tagging Giants starter Noah Lowry for five hits and Felipe Lopez's sacrifice fly. They added four in the eighth, highlighted by Austin Kearns' three-run double.

    Omar Vizquel hit two RBI triples and singled twice and Randy Winn had a sacrifice fly, three hits and scored three runs for slumping San Francisco, which lost its eighth straight game following a season-best five-game winning streak. The Giants went winless in their road trip through Washington and Pittsburgh and lost to San Diego in the final game of their previous homestand.

    This is the club's longest skid since also dropping eight in a row from May 26-June 4 last year. San Francisco has lost the eight games by a total of 13 runs.

    "We have to get well in a hurry or we're going to be a sinking ship," Giants general manager Brian Sabean said.

    Asked whether he had a response to Sabean's comments, manager Felipe Alou said: "He said it, right? I'm not going to comment on it. I believe that's enough."

    Before the game, Soriano was greeted by cheers and chants of "Soriano! Soriano!" when he made his way into the visitor's clubhouse on a makeshift red carpet -- a pathway constructed of white towels taped to the floor.

    "I'm happy," said Soriano, who got word from Nationals special assistant Jose Rijo about 20 minutes before the deadline. "It will be more easy to focus on playing every time because it passed. I was very excited they wanted to keep me here. ...

    "I love my teammates, too. I think they were happy to see me walk in here."

    From his locker hung streamers in team colors, a special chair replaced the standard clubhouse offering, and a giant fruit basket and bottle of champagne waited at his feet. "Vive Soriano!" -- "Soriano Lives!" read one sign. "We love you!" stated another.

    "He means as much to this team in the clubhouse as he does on the field," Kearns said.

    Pedro Astacio (2-1) pitched six strong innings in his sixth start of the year, allowing 10 hits and four runs with two strikeouts and a walk. Chad Cordero recorded the final four outs for his 18th save in 21 chances.

    Lopez finished with a double and single, the sacrifice fly and two runs scored and Church hit two RBI doubles as the Nationals went 14-11 in July for their first winning month since June 2005 (20-6).

    "It's always good to see the offense come back," Nationals manager Frank Robinson said. "We needed every run we got."

    After Lowry's one-out single in the second, Astacio retired the next nine Giants before Winn singled in the fifth. Vizquel followed with a triple, then scored on Ray Durham's single. Durham drove in another run in the eighth.

    Barry Bonds went 0-for-4 with a walk and flied out to deep center to end the eighth with two runners on.

    Lowry (5-7), facing Washington in consecutive starts after getting a no-decision last Wednesday, allowed six runs and eight hits in five innings.

    "Obviously I wanted to go out there today and get the team out of this funk," Lowry said. "I let our guys down."

    Relievers Brian Wilson and Steve Kline had their problems in the eighth, too.

    "We're 4½ games out and this is the worst baseball we've played all year," Kline said. "Everybody here wants to win. Nobody wants to pack it in. You can see tempers are flaring and guys are getting antsy."

    Nationals catcher Robert Fick left the game in the seventh with left rib cartilage separation and was scheduled for an MRI on Tuesday.

    San Francisco right fielder Moises Alou was ejected by plate umpire Brian Gorman after he struck out looking to end the third inning. He tossed his bat all the way to the Giants' dugout, then threw down his batting helmet in disgust. Gorman tossed Alou, who then yelled at the umpire for several moments before leaving.

    Game notes


    Vizquel had his first two-triple game since Aug. 12, 2001, for Cleveland at Texas. ... RHP Ryan Wagner made his Nationals debut after being recalled from Triple-A New Orleans. ... Washington drew seven walks and had 116 walks in July, its most free passes in a month since the 2002 Montreal Expos drew 111 walks that July. ... The Giants' Jose Vizcaino played in his 1,800th game.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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