Washington Nationals slugger Kyle Schwarber (12) gets congratulations after his home run from teammates Trea Turner (7) and Juan Soto (22) in the first inning against the San Francisco Giants at Nationals Park in DC on Sun Jun 13, 2021 (AP News photo)
By Jeremy Kahn
Kyle Schwarber just love to hit San Francisco Giants pitching and he showed why in the series finale for the Washington Nationals.
Schwarber hit two home runs, to give him three in the four-game series and the Nationals shutout the Giants 5-0 to gain a split in the four-game series at Nationals Park.
Johnny Cueto was victimized twice by Schwarber, as he led off the bottom of the first inning with a solo home run to give the Nationals a quick 1-0 lead for Bay Area native Joe Ross, who graduated from Bishop ODowd in Oakland.
Schwarber made it two home runs in as many at-bats, as he launched a three-run home run off the second deck in the bottom of the second inning to break the game wide open.
Not only was Schwarber, as he hit 2-for-4 with four runs batted in, but Josh Harrison went 4-for-4 on the afternoon with a run scored.
Ross went eight innings, allowing just five hits, walking no one and striking out nine, as he improved to 3-6 on the road.
Cueto went just 5.1 innings, as he gave five runs (four earned), giving up nine hits, walking three and striking out two and he also committed a fielding error in the bottom of the second on a bunt by Victor Robles that sent Alex Avila, who singled to lead off the inning. After Ross sacrificed to Brandon Belt, Schwarber hit his second home run of the game off the façade of the second deck.
Starlin Castro came up with the final run batted in of the game, as he doubled off of Cueto with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning. It was the second of back-to-back doubles, as Harrison doubled to left field.
Cueto was pulled in the bottom of the sixth inning, as he walked the bases loaded and was replaced by Jose Alvarez.
The left-hander was able to get out of the after one pitch, as Soto grounded into a double play to end the inning.
In the four-game series, the Giants were shutout twice and could muster only three runs against the Nationals, and despite the futility at the plate, they were able to get out of Washington with a split.
NOTES: Following Saturdays win, Caleb Baragar, who picked up the save in the second game to gain the split was optioned to Sacramento.
By becoming the first National League team to win 40 games this season, this is the third time in Giants history that were the first to win 40 games and the previous two times that it happened, the Giants reached the World Series, as they did it in 1989 (lost to the Oakland As) and 2014 (defeated the Kansas City Royals).
UP NEXT: Neither the Giants nor the Arizona Diamondbacks have announced starters for Mondays opener at Oracle Park.