San Francisco Giants baserunner Curt Casali who scored the winning run in the eighth inning on LeMonte Wade’s single claps in the second game of a doubleheader at Nationals Park in Washington DC on Sat Jun 12, 2021 (AP News photo)
By Jeremy Kahn
Playing in the area where he grew up for the first time as a major leaguer, LaMonte Wade, Jr., came up with the biggest hit of the game.
Wade hit a single in the top of the eighth inning, helping the San Francisco Giants to a 2-1 victory over the Washington Nationals, giving them the split of the doubleheader and the Giants became the third team in the major leagues and first in the National League to 40 wins, as they join the Chicago White Sox (40 wins) and the Tampa Bay Rays (41 wins).
The native of Baltimore, who went to the University of Maryland, just across the District line in College Park drove in Curt Casali, who was on second base to start the inning.
After a wild pitch by Kyle Finnegan sent Wade to second, Donovan Solano hit a ground ball that saw Trea Turner throw to Josh Harrison; however, Wade, Jr., slid underneath the tag. Brandon Belt then walked to load the bases with nobody out.
Wilmer Flores pulled the ball into left field and it dropped for a single to easily score Wade, Jr., from third base, and the bases stayed loaded.
The Nationals finally retired a batter, as Ryan Zimmerman made a nifty bare-handed play at first base and threw to Yan Gomes at home for the first out of the inning to retire Belt.
Prior to the Wade, Jr,, single, Mike Yastrzemski came up with the last hit for the Giants in the top of the third inning, when he doubled off of Jeffrey Rodriguez, as he batted for Conor Menez, who started the game for the Giants.
Ryne Harper then came on to replace Finnegan, as he got Mauricio Dubon to ground into a force play that saw Starlin Castro throw to Gomes to get Belt for the second out of the inning. Harper was able to get of the jam, as he got Austin Slater to fly out to Kyle Schwarber to end the inning.
Menez, who went the first two innings for the Giants, allowed just one hit and struck out one before Gabe Kapler went to the bullpen, in this second game of the doubleheader.
Following Menez, Kapler sent Jarlin Garcia, Dominic Leone, Zack Littell, Tyler Roger, Jake McGee each went one inning and finally Kapler called on Caleb Baragar to close it out, and it was an interesting bottom of the eighth inning.
With Gomes on second base to start the inning, Castro got the Nationals on the board, as he doubled off the centerfield wall. Following the Castro double, Baragar then hit Victor Robles on the shoulder to put runners on first and second with nobody out.
Josh Bell came off the bench to pinch hit for Harper, as he hit a fly ball to Slater that saw Castro advance to third base and Robles tagged up and went to second base; however, he went to second base, but dove past the base and began to run towards third base, where he was immediately tagged out for the second out of the inning.
Baragar then got Turner to pop out to Solano at second base to give the Giants the victory and a split of the doubleheader.
It was the first save of the season for Baragar, who gave up a run and one hit, as he saw his earned run average fall to 0.49 on the season.
McGee struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh inning to pick up his second win of the season
UP NEXT: Johnny Cueto will close out the series and the road trip, as he will take the mound for the first time since Sunday, when he went 4.1 innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits, walking two and striking out four and saw his record fall to 4-2 on the season. Berkeley born and Bishop O Dowd (Oakland) graduate Joe Ross will take the hill for the Nationals, as he looks for his third win of the season.