San Francisco Giants - PlayerWatch

1B Brandon Belt remained hot in August, crushing a home run into the second deck at Nationals Park in Wednesday's 6-5 loss. It was his 14th long ball of the season and fourth this month. Belt is hitting .415 (17-for-41) in the month.

RHP Ryan Vogelsong makes his second start Thursday since being reinstated off the disabled list on Aug. 9 after suffering a fractured right hand. The start will be his 11th overall. He will make his third career start against Washington, with a 1-1 mark and 5.17 ERA in two previous matchups against the Nationals.

INF Joaquin Arias nearly earned a second straight start Wednesday after his 4-for-5 effort Tuesday against Washington, but manager Bruce Bochy decided to keep the utility man on the Giants' bench. "He had a heck of a game," Bochy said.

RF Hunter Pence nabbed his 18th stolen base Wednesday, equaling his career-high, which was set in 2010. Pence came around to score his team-leading 60th run, and since the All-Star break, he is hitting .366, one of the top 10 averages in the National League. But it hasn't been enough to keep the Giants from fading in the standings as they lost 6-5 to the Nationals. "If it's Candy Land every year, and we win the World Series every year, who'd want to watch?" he said. "Not to say we're out of it. We're still fighting here. But these situations add character."

3B Pablo Sandoval might be coming out of his tailspin, putting together a 3-for-4 night Wednesday after going just 2-for-23 over his previous seven games. Sandoval's two-run double in the eighth inning was his first extra base hit in 54 at-bats.