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Giants’ errors, offensive struggles cap rough series in D.C. originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Prior to Sunday, only one opposing pitcher had managed to make it through the seventh inning or later against the Giants this season, when Walker Buehler went seven in a May 22 game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Oracle Park.

Joe Ross, who was 2-6 with a 4.80 ERA coming into Sunday’s game, twirled eight scoreless innings as the Washington Nationals beat the Giants 5-0 in the series finale at Nationals Park.

The Giants were averaging 4.85 runs per game coming into the series with the last-place Nationals, but managed to score just three runs over the four-game series in the nation’s capital.

“This entire series hasn’t been our best offensive performance,” Kapler told reporters after the game Sunday. “I think we have a better brand of offense in us, I think we’ve seen that at various points through the season. I think we can be more selective and at times, more aggressive.

“We’re gonna kind of go back and look at what happened in this series from an offensive perspective and look to make adjustments for the Arizona series.”

Sunday also was an uncharacteristically bad day for the Giants’ defense, which led the NL in fielding percentage (.989) going into the game. The Giants made two errors in the first two innings, matching a season-high for a single game.

Johnny Cueto struggled right out of the gate on the mound, as Kyle Schwarber hit a leadoff home run for the second straight day, after doing the same to Kevin Gausman in the first leg of Saturday’s doubleheader.

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The veteran ended up lasting 5 1/3 innings, surrendering nine hits and four earned runs with three walks and just two strikeouts. Cueto also was responsible for one of those two early errors, failing to scoop up a slow grounder after he came off the mound on a bunt.

In a tight division race, the Giants missed out on an opportunity to increase their lead against a Nationals team that has the fourth-worst run differential in the NL.

Luckily for the Giants, they’ll be returning home Monday for a four-game series against another last-place team in the Arizona Diamondbacks.

It was an uncharacteristic weekend both for the Giants’ offense and the defense, but the starting pitching and bullpen continue to deliver. Washington also managed to score just three runs over the first three games of the series, before Sunday’s five-run effort.

Despite the weak offensive showing and mistake-filled weekend, the Giants split the series and still have the NL’s best record.

Kapler and the Giants will be hoping that a return to the friendly confines of McCovey Cove can jumpstart this team.

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