San Francisco, CA – Just when it looked as though San Francisco starter Ryan Vogelsong had righted the ship after a shaky start to the season, the veteran right-hander was hit with his toughest break of the year.
Vogelsong spun five stellar innings in the Giants' 8-0 shutout of the Washington Nationals Monday, but fractured his pitching hand in the bottom of the fifth after taking a fastball off his right knuckle while swinging at a pitch.
"He's got two breaks in the right hand there," Giants manager Bruce Bochy confirmed after the game. "He's going to go in tomorrow and have surgery. More than likely you're looking at four-to-six weeks."
Vogelsong (2-4) limited the Nats to just three hits and a walk before the injury, with four San Francisco relievers combining on four hitless innings to complete the shutout and halt the Giants' three-game skid.
"It stinks, especially because it's been so rough," Vogelsong said. "To go out there and feel like my old self again and be throwing like that, it's tough."
Angel Pagan plated three runs and scored once, while Brandon Belt went 4-for-5 with a solo homer and four runs scored for the Giants, who pounded out a season-high 17 hits in the triumph.
Zach Duke (0-1) was tagged with the loss in his first start since 2011 after giving up four runs on seven hits in just 3 1/3 frames. Duke also accounted for one of Washington's three hits, as the Nationals dropped their third straight contest.
"We were trying to do too much and not just go up there and swing the bat," Washington manager Davey Johnson admitted. "We'll be alright, tomorrow's another day but today was awful tough."
San Francisco broke through in the second inning, as Hunter Pence and Belt smacked consecutive one-out singles. Andres Torres then doubled to left to plate Pence before Brandon Crawford scored Belt with a groundout to second.
The home team tacked on three more in the fourth, which started with back-to- back singles from Belt and Torres. Crawford followed with a fielder's choice to the mound that left runners on the corners before Duke was lifted in favor of Craig Stammen.
Vogelsong's safety-squeeze on Stammen's first offering scored Belt and Pagan followed with a double to right to score Crawford for a 4-0 lead.
Marco Scutaro then capped the inning and extended his hitting streak to 18 games with a single to center to plate Pagan.
Belt's two-out solo shot in the fifth pushed the lead to 6-0 before Torres and Crawford smacked back-to-back singles.
Vogelsong then stepped to the plate and took a big swing at an inside fastball that caught him flush on his pitching hand. Pinch-hitter Nick Noonan finished off Vogelsong's at-bat with a grounder to second to end the inning.
The Giants padded their lead with two more runs in the seventh. After Pence was cut down at the plate with one out, Crawford walked to load the bases. Pinch-hitter Gregor Blanco then popped out for the second out, but Pagan came through with a two-run single to center to account for the final margin.
Washington first baseman Adam LaRoche went 0-for-3 to snap a 16-game hitting streak ... It was the fourth four-hit game of Belt's career ... Washington outfielder Bryce Harper (knee) returned from a two-game absence and finished 0-for-4 ... San Francisco went 4-for-15 with runners in scoring position and left 11 on base.