San Francisco Giants' 2011 1st Round pick Joe Panik, 23, entered Friday night's series opener with a .297/.345/.344 line, four doubles and a triple in 39 games and 139 PAs, but he hadn't yet connected on his first major league home run.
Panik's 4 for 5 night at the plate in Nationals Park left the Giants' second baseman with a .316/.361/.383 line on the year.
One of his four hits was a three-run home run to center field in the top of the fourth, his first in the majors, which gave San Francisco a 3-1 lead in what ended up a 10-3 win over Washington and 30-year-old right-hander Doug Fister.
Fister's 19th start of the season began with three scoreless innings, but back-to-back two-out singles by Giants' third baseman Pablo Sandoval and Michael Morse, respectively, preceded Panik's blast which came on a belt-high 89 mph first-pitch fastball.
"I'm attacking him with my best pitch," Fister explained to reporters after the game.
"I left it over middle of the plate and he hit it well and that's his job, I didn't do mine."
"Just an infield single," Nats' skipper Matt Williams said of the first of three two-out hits Fister surrendered that inning, "kind of over the mound that Asdrubal [Cabrera] tried to get. And then he got in a situation with guys on first and second and Panik hit the first pitch. I haven't looked at the pitch yet, so I don't know exactly where it was, but he hit a homer, so that kind of got them rolling and then, of course, [Buster] Posey hit one too. It's one of those days. Kind of a clunker all around, but see if we can get them tomorrow."
Posey crushed an 88 mph 2-2 fastball with one down in the sixth, two innings after Jayson Werth's solo blast got the Nationals within one at 3-2.
Fister needed 33 pitches to get through the top of the sixth in his final inning of work.
He ended up giving up seven hits and four earned runs, all on the two home runs.
He induced nine ground ball outs from the 25 batters he faced.
"That's kind of the way it goes tonight," he said. "I've got to be better."
"I just wasn't sharp, left too many balls over the plate."
Williams wasn't as critical of the starter, however.
"It's not a bad start," the first-year skipper explained. "They took two really good swings and that gave them their four runs. But nobody is going to be good every single time. And I'm sure if you ask him he wasn't as crisp as he'd like to be, but he battled."
"The whole day I'm battling myself," Fister said. "That's a constant challenge for me to constantly keep the ball down and on the corners. It's something I have to do, if not, I have to pay for it and that's what happened."
Fister ended the night with a (12-4) record on the year, a 2.38 ERA, a 3.71 FIP, 15 walks (1.08 BB/9) and 77 Ks (5.56 K/9) in 124 ⅔ IP.
Asked for his thoughts on the end of the Nationals' ten-game win streak, Fister said there was no time for reflection.
"We don't have time to do that," he said. "We've got to come back tomorrow ready to play and start a new one. We don't look at it as streaks. We look at is as day-by-day, and there's 162 games that we have to come out and be ready to play. Tomorrow is a new one."
[ed. note - "Fister was asked after the game about the noticeable stitches on the left side of his neck, and explained that he had skin cancer removed. "I had some skin cancer removed a couple of days ago and it had no effect tonight."]