SAN FRANCISCO -- Right-hander Tim Hudson proved to be too much for the Nationals as the Giants salvaged the finale of the four-game series with a 7-1 victory at AT&T Park on Thursday afternoon.
The loss snapped Washington's four-game winning streak and dropped its record to 35-30. The Nationals remain in first place, a game ahead of the Braves and Marlins in the National League East.
Even though his team lost, Nationals manager Matt Williams was pleased that his club was able to take three out of four games against a Giants team that went into the series with the best record in baseball.
"Against [the Giants], especially the way that they have been playing, it's gratifying to play as well as we did the first three games. Today, it kind of unraveled. Three out of four against these guys is pretty good," Williams said.
The unraveling started with Hudson, who pitched seven innings and allowed one run on six hits. The unearned run scored in the fourth inning. After Hudson got two quick outs, Adam LaRoche singled to center field before advancing to second on a passed ball by Buster Posey. LaRoche then scored on a single to right field by Ryan Zimmerman.
"He was keeping the ball down," said second baseman Kevin Frandsen. "He was mixing up his pitches. His team lost three in a row. He is going to bulldog his way through. He is going to compete. He is going to make sure his team has a chance to win. He made pitches when he needed to."
Right-hander Blake Treinen pitched five innings, allowing two runs on five hits. When it appeared disaster was going to strike, he bounced back and got out of the inning. Take the second inning, when San Francisco scored two runs.
After Michael Morse singled to lead off the inning, Tyler Colvin tripled to right field, scoring Morse. Colvin later scored on a groundout by Brandon Crawford. After that, Treinen was able to get Ehire Adrianza and Hudson to ground out and escape the inning.
"I had trouble commanding my fastball today," Treinen said. "I threw some good changeups in big situations. I'm just happy to get out of that mess of an inning. If I had command of my fastball a little better maybe I could have gone deep in the game like a starter should."
The Nationals had a chance to at least tie the game at 2 in the fifth inning. They had runners on first and third with nobody out. But Treinen couldn't get the bunt down and struck out. Denard Span followed and hit into an inning-ending double play.
"If Treinen gets that ball down, it may be a different game for us," Williams said.
Treinen most likely made his last Major League start before being sent back to Triple-A Syracuse. If things go according to plan, left-hander Gio Gonzalez will come off the disabled list and pitch against the Astros next week.
Overall, Treinen did a great job during his two stints with Washington. In eight games -- four starts --Treinen had a 2.08 ERA, but was unable to collect his first big league win.
"He has been doing anything we have asked him to do, whether it's one inning out of the bullpen, multiple innings out of the bullpen, starting," Williams said. "I still feel like he is a young starter. The changeup is developing, breaking ball is developing, he has a good sinker. He has done well."
San Francisco added two more runs in the sixth inning off Craig Stammen. Pablo Sandoval scored on a balk, while Morse scored on a single by Gregor Blanco.
Aaron Barrett was on the mound when Hunter Pence scored on a sacrifice fly by Sandoval in the seventh. Barrett allowed two more runs on a single by Hector Sanchez in the eighth.
"We're going to lose games; it's going to happen," Colvin said. "There is a lot of baseball to play and unfortunately they came in here hot and won those first three, but it's good to take that last one from them."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.