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Usually reliable Giants' bullpen implodes in 14-6 rubber game loss to Nationals

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WASHINGTON - Ryan Vogelsong wanted to stay in Sunday's game.

Perhaps he had a premonition.

A beleaguered bullpen gave up 11 runs in the final 2 2-3 innings as the San Francisco Giants fell 14-6 to the Washington Nationals on Sunday.

"I felt like I was getting stronger," said Vogelsong, who allowed three runs on four hits and four walks before manager Bruce Bochy removed him with one out in the sixth. "Didn't I feel physically good enough to keep pitching? Yeah, but it's his call."

Jeremy Affeldt (3-2) allowed five hits and five runs in the sixth without retiring a batter in Vogelsong's relief. Juan Gutierrez allowed five runs in the ninth to turn a still-winnable contest into a laugher.

Craig Stammen (4-4) allowed a run in two innings of relief after a laboured four-inning outing from starter Stephen Strasburg.

Gregor Blanco and Travis Ishikawa homered early for the Giants, who ended their road trip 3-3 despite snapping the Nationals' 10-game winning streak on Friday night.

Ian Desmond, Bryce Harper and Danny Espinosa each homered and drove in two runs to help the Nationals post their highest runs total this season.

Jose Lobaton doubled among his three hits, drove in a run and scored three times for NL-East leading Washington, which pounded out 18 hits against the Giants--14 against their bullpen.

"They've been terrific," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy of his pen, which entered Sunday with a 2.57 ERA, third-best in the majors. "We turn it over to the pen and they do a great job. Our guys . I feel for them. They played so well early and that's a tough one to let get away."

Brandon Crawford had three singles for San Francisco, which used relievers for 11 2-3 innings across the three-game series.

Bochy said there were no immediately pending roster moves after the game. Nor has it been decided whether two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum will make his next scheduled start after allowing six runs across 2 2-3 innings in San Francisco's 6-2 loss Saturday night.

The two-time Cy Young winner has failed to pitch through the fifth inning in four of his last six starts, going 1-3 with a 9.49 ERA in that stretch.

"We're at a point now where you have to do what you can to win every game," Bochy said. "When you are talking about that game it's who gives us our best chance to win. That is call-up time, too."

Vogelsong departed with a 6-3 lead after yielding Desmond's homer.

Harper doubled and scored on Affeldt's wild pitch. Lobaton singled in Asdrubal Cabrera and Scott Hairston's double tied it at 6-all.

"My sinker didn't sink and I wasn't throwing it where I was supposed to throw it," said Affeldt, whose ERA spiked about three quarters of a point to 2.72. "Ground balls found holes and fly balls dropped. That's going to happen when you don't hit your spots."

Jean Machi picked Denard Span off first after entering with runners on the corners. But Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche each had RBI singles to finish the scoring in the inning.

The Nationals added a run in the seventh and five more in the eighth, including blasts from Harper and Espinosa.

"It's frustrating for all of us," Affeldt said. "I didn't set a very good tone, obviously."

BAD FORTUNE .500

With the defeat, the Giants failed again to win a series against a team with an above-.500 record. Their last such series win came on May 27 to June 1 at St. Louis.

EARLY GETAWAY

Jake Peavy, San Francisco's Monday starter, was ejected from the dugout during the third inning of Sunday's contest, apparently for arguing with the umpiring crew.

TRAINER'S ROOM

CF Angel Pagan (left calf tightness), was left out of the starting lineup for the second straight day. Pagan spent almost two months on the disabled list with a strained back before returning to the club on Aug. 7.

UP NEXT

RHP Peavy (2-3, 3.58) looks for his third straight victory Monday night as San Francisco begins a seven-game homestand with the first of four against the Colorado Rockies.

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