Gausman solid in helping Giants in sweep of Nationals 3-1 at Oracle

San Francisco Giants pitcher Kevin Gausman throws to the Washington Nationals line up on Sun Jul 11, 2021 at Oracle Park in San Francisco in the first inning. The contest was the finale of the three game series. (AP News photo)

By Jeremy Kahn

SAN FRANCISCO-Kevin Gausman may not have been able to pitch in the All-Star Game in hometown of Denver, but what a showing he put on in his final start of the first half.

Gausman went six innings, allowing one run on four hits, walking three and striking out nine and the San Francisco Giants completed a three-game sweep with a 3-1 victory over the Washington Nationals before a crowd of 26,639 at Oracle Park. With the victory, Gausman raised his record up to 9-3 on the season and lowered his earned run average from 1.74 to 1.65.

All the offense that the Giants needed came on one swing from Curt Casali, who launched a three-run home run into the Garden area beyond the center field wall in the bottom of the second inning.

Casali took a Erick Fedde pitch and planted it into the netting for his fourth home run of the season, and the Giants went into the All-Star break with the best record in baseball for the first time since the 2016 season and it is seventh time in team history that they have reached the All-Star break with the best record in the majors.

Since coming off the injured list last month, Casali is now 17-for-42 (.404) with four home runs during that stretch.

Brandon Crawford led off the inning with a single, and after Donovan Solano struck out for the first out of the inning, then Steven Duggar singled and then Casali hit his three-run home run.

Crawford continues to swing the bat well, as he went 3-for-4 on the afternoon, and picked up his fifth three plus game in his last eight games.

Fedde, who allowed the three runs in the bottom of the second inning, ended up going five innings, allowing three runs on eight hits, walking three and striking out and saw his record fall to 4-6 on the season.

The Nationals knocked Gausman out of the game in the top of the seventh inning, as both Juan Soto and Josh Bell walked to lead off the inning, then Starlin Castro singled to load the bases and Castro was the last batter that Gausman would face.

Dominic Leone came on to replace Gausman and got Josh Harrison to ground into a force play that scored Soto, but Leone then got pinch-hitter Ryan Zimmerman to fly out to Duggar in centerfield for the second out and then got out of the inning, when he got Victor Robles to strikeout for the final out of the inning.

Asides from scoring those three runs in the Giants wasted ample opportunities, as they put the first two runners of the inning on base in the bottom of the first inning and then again in the bottom of the third inning; however, Fedde was able to get out of the inning unscathed.

Tyler Rogers came on in the top of the eighth inning to replace Leone, and continues to be one of the best relievers in the National League during the first half, as he retired the Nationals in order.

Closer Jake McGee replaced Rogers in the top of the ninth inning, and picked up his 19th save, tying his career high that he obtained with the Tampa Bay Rays during the 2014 season.

McGee gave up a two-out double to Castro, but then got Harrison to line out to Solano to end the game.

NOTES: Caleb Baragar was recalled from Sacramento, while Tyler Beede was optioned back to Sacramento.

The Giants have now hit 132 home runs on the season, the most in the majors and lead the Toronto Blue Jays by two home runs, as they have hit 130 home runs on the season. This is just the third time since moving to San Francisco in 1958 that the Giants have led the majors in home runs at the All-Star break, they also led the majors in 1958 with 95 and then in 1989, when they went into the All-Star break with 80 home runs.

UP NEXT: Following the All-Star break, the Giants will fly to St. Louis for a three-game series against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium that begins at Busch Stadium on Friday night. After the three-games in St. Louis, the Giants will head to Los Angeles, where they will face the Dodgers for a four-game series and this will be the final time that the Giants travel to Dodger Stadium during the 2021 regular season.

DeSclafani goes six to pickup his 10th win of the season 10-4

San Francisco Giants Brandon Crawford swings for the fences for a sixth inning solo home run at Oracle Park in San Francisco Sat Jul 10, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Jeremy Kahn

SAN FRANCISCO-Despite that the fact that he won his 10th game of the season, Anthony DeSclafani is not going to the All-Star Game.

DeSclafani went six innings, allowing zero runs on just three hits, walking just one and striking out six, as the San Francisco Giants defeated the Washington Nationals 10-4 before a crowd of 25,901 at Oracle Park.

The right-hander, who improved to 10-3 on the season received immediate help from his offense in the bottom of the first inning.

Wilmer Flores got the hit parade started in the bottom of the first inning, as he walked, then Mike Yastrzemski and it looked like Jon Lester was going to get Darin Ruf on an easy fly ball to left field; however, former Giants outfielder Gerardo Parra lost the ball in the sun for an error that loaded the bases.

Following the Parra error, Donovan Solano singled in Flores, and then Brandon Crawford followed it up with a long fly out to Parra that scored Yastrzemski from second base. Joey Bart made his first appearance of the season, and came through in style, as he singled to reload the bases.

The Giants final run of the inning came off the bat of Thairo Estrada, who hit a dribbler along the third base line that Starlin Castro was unable to get in time and Ruf easily scored from third base.

Things got even worse for the Nationals in the bottom of the third inning, as the Giants broke the game wide open, when they scored five runs and chased Lester.

Crawford singled for the second time in as many at-bats to score Ruf, who doubled to lead off the inning. Bart then singled in Solano, who reached on a fielding error Castro at third base.

Estrada then singled in Crawford, and that the end of the line for Lester, who gave up eight runs (three earned) on nine hits, walking two and striking out one in just 2.1 innings of work and lost for the fourth time on the season.

It was a career day for Estrada at the plate, as he went 4-for-5 on the afternoon.

Tyler Beede made his return to a major-league game for the first time since having Tommy John surgery, as he replaced DeSclafani in the top of the seventh inning. Beede went one inning, allowing three runs on two hits and struck out two.

Crawford ended his afternoon in a way that only he can, as he hit his 18th home run of the season in the bottom of the sixth inning and ended the day going 3-for-3.

The Nationals finally got on the board in the top of the seventh inning, as Alcides Escobar hit a two-run triple that just being a terrific catch by Yastrzemski that would have ended the inning; however, it brought home Parra and Tres Barrera, who led off the inning with a single and then Beede hit Barrera. Beede then regrouped to strikeout Victor Robles and Josh Harrison, but Beede gave up the triple to Escobar, who then scored on a Beede wild pitch.

Yastrzemski made a fantastic diving catch in what used to be the visiting bullpen off the bat of Castro to end the top of the sixth inning.

Jaxson Reetz came off the bench in the top of the ninth inning for the Nationals and picked up his first major league, a double to right field off of John Brebbia. Reetz scored his first major league run on a Josh Harrison ground out that forced Robles at second base.

NOTES: To make room for Bart on the roster, Logan Webb was optioned to Sacramento after he went three innings on Friday night against the Nationals.

Since he came off the injured list on June 12, Curt Casali is hitting .400 (16-for-40), with five doubles, a triple, three home runs and nine runs batted in and the Giants 23-6 in games where Casali starts this season.

There was a scary scene in the stands during the game, as a fan began to choke on her food and a gentleman immediately performed the Heimlich Maneuver on the woman. The woman was choking on three pieces of her hot dog, and the gentleman who performed the maneuver was none than Dr. Willie Ross, who is a pediatrician and also the father of current Nationals pitcher Joe Ross and former Oakland Athletics pitcher Tyson Ross, who grew up in Oakland and went to Bishop ODowd High School.

UP NEXT: Kevin Gausman closes out the first half for the Giants, as he takes the mound on Sunday afternoon, while Eric Fedde will take the mound for the Nationals.

Three home runs give Giants huge victory 5-3 over Nats

San Francisco Giants Darin Ruf (33) belts a fifth inning solo homer against the Washington Nationals on Fri Jul 9, 2021 at Oracle Park in San Francisco (AP News photo)

By Jeremy Kahn

After learning that their All-Star Catcher Buster Posey was forced to go on the injured list, Gabe Kapler turned to his backup for help.

Curt Casali hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the second inning, but the big blow came off the bat of Darin Ruf, who hit a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth inning and the San Francisco Giants defeated the Washington Nationals 5-3 in the opener of their three-game series at Oracle Park.

It was the second run batted in for Ruf, who drove in the first run of the night in the bottom of the first inning, when he singled in Mike Yastrzemski to give the Giants a quick 1-0 lead.

Logan Webb returned to the starting rotation, as he went three innings, allowing one hit, not walking a batter and striking out four.

Unfortunately, Jose Alvarez was unable to hold onto the lead, as he gave up three runs on two hits in the top of the fourth inning, walking one in just 1/3 of an inning. Following being pulled by Kapler, and being inspected by third base Dan Bellino, Alvarez was ejected by home plate umpire David Rackley; because, Alvarez did not agree Rackleys strike zone.

The big blow by the Nationals in the inning came off the bat of Tres Barrera, who tripled to centerfield that scored both Juan Soto and Josh Bell to get the Nationals within one run.

Former Giants outfielder Gerardo Parra came back to town and haunted his former team, as he doubled in Barrera to tie up the game.

Ruf then gave the Giants the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth, as he launched a solo home run deep into the left-center field bleachers that was estimated at 433 feet.

Wilmer Flores then gave the Giants their third home run of the game, as he hit his ninth home run in the bottom of the seventh inning that closed out the scoring for the victorious Giants.

Once again, the Giants defense came up big, as Brandon Crawford showed flashbacks of Game 7 of the 2014 World Series, as he made a nifty play when Barrera grounded into the twin killing that also retired Starlin Castro at second base.

Tyler Rogers got into a jam into a jam in the top of the top of the eighth inning, as he loaded the bases with one out; however, it was another double play that got him out of the jam and out of the inning, as Parra grounded into the inning-ending double play to Donovan Solano, who threw to Crawford to retire Josh Harrison and then Crawford threw to Ruf to just get the speedy Parra to retire the side. The Nationals did look into challenging the call at first base; however, they did not challenge.

Closer Jake McGee came on in the top of the ninth inning and got Nationals veteran Ryan Zimmerman to strike out swinging for the first out, and then Alcides Escobar flew out to Yastrzemski for the second out of the inning; however, things got dicey after the Escobar fly out.

Trea Turner picked up an opposite field single, and after a visit by Kapler, Turner advanced to second on defensive indifference and then McGee walked Soto and then Bell grounded out to Crawford for the final out of the game and McGee secured his 18th save of the season.

In all, the Giants sent seven relievers to the mound after Webb and the Giants picked up their 55th win of the season against 32 losses.

NOTES: Posey was placed on the 10-day injured list with a left thumb contusion retroactively to July 6 after he was injured after he was hit on the glove hand at Chase Field, and Webb replaced Posey on the roster.

With the injury that will keep him out until after the All-Star break, Posey, who was elected to start for the National League in Tuesdays All-Star Game at Coors Field in Denver will miss the game due to the injury and will not attend the festivities.

Since Kevin Gausman is scheduled to start for the Giants on Sunday, the Denver area native will not pitch in the game; however, it is unclear if he will join Crawford for the game.

With three more home runs tonight against the Nationals, the Giants now have 130 home runs on the season, passing the Toronto Blue Jays with 128 home runs for the most home runs in the major leagues this season.

Since moving to California in 1958, the Giants have led the major leagues in home runs at the All-Star break on two previous occasions, in 1989, when they hit 80 home runs at the break and then in their first season in San Francisco, they hit 95 home runs in 1958.

The Giants unveiled their City Connect Jersey by Nike, and will wear during the entire series against the Nationals and then every Tuesday night home game.

UP NEXT: Anthony DeSclafani will take the mound on Saturday afternoon for the Giants, as he looks for his 10th win of the season, while the Nationals will send veteran Jon Lester to the hill, in search of his third win of the season.

San Francisco Giants podcast with Michael Duca: Webb gets the call tonight against Nats as Giants hold one game lead over LA

San Francisco Giants starter Logan Webb will be looking for his fifth win tonight against the visiting Washington Nationals at Oracle Park Fri Jul 8, 2021 (file photo from San Francisco Chronicle)

On the SF Giants podcast with Miguel:

#1 Michael the Giants are coming off a series loss to the St Louis Cardinals dropping two out of three but winning Wednesday night’s game at Oracle Park 5-2 thanks to the fine pitching of Alex Wood.

#2 The Giants go into tonight’s game against the Washington Nationals just a game in front of the second place Los Angeles Dodgers at Oracle Park every game counts to stay in front of the Dodgers.

#3 Michael talk about Darin Ruf for a moment big night Wednesday hitting a two run homer in the eighth a crucial blast that helped the Giants win that game by two runs.

#4 Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford heads to the All Star game with 17 home runs, 55 RBIs and a .275 average and he’s had quite a first half with the glove at short. He should represent San Francisco well going into Denver on Monday.

#5 Michael starting pitchers for tonight’s game at Oracle Park for the Nationals Paolo Espino (2-2 ERA 2.48) for the Giants Logan Webb (4-3 ERA 3.86) a 6:45 pm (PDT) first pitch.

Join Michael for the Giants podcasts each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Giants Webb coming off shoulder strain; pitch count will be watched Friday night

San Francisco Giants pitcher Logan Webb throwing against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sat May 29, 2021 at Dodgers Stadium Los Angeles will be the starting pitcher against the Washington Nationals on Fri Jul 9, 2021 at Oracle Park (AP file photo)

By Jessica Kwong

The San Francisco Giants had the day off on Thursday after losing two of the last three games in the series against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Giants won 5-2 on Wednesday at Oracle Park to avoid being swept.

San Francisco (54-32) are still first in the NL West but are tied on the most wins in the league.

The Giants start a three-game series against the Washington Nationals on Friday before facing the Cardinals after the All-Star break on July 16 at State Farm Stadium. First pitch at Nationals Park is at 6:45 p.m.

San Francisco plans to start with right-handed pitcher Logan Webb on Friday. Giants manager Gabe Kapler announced on Wednesday that Webb, who has been out since May 29 due to a right shoulder strain, will come off the injured list. He did not give any indication of how many innings Webb might pitch. Webb will likely take Long’s spot in the rotation but it is unlikely he will throw more than 50 to 60.

The Giants’ pitching for the opener against Washington will likely include right-handed pitcher Tyler Beede, who was off the 60-day injured list on Tuesday. Beede had Tommy John surgery in March 2020 and completed a 12-start rehab assignment with Triple-A Sacramento. He finished with a 6.56 ERA.

In unfortunate news, the Giants’ director of Dominican Republic Operations, Pablo Peguero, died unexpectedly on Wednesday, the organization announced yesterday evening. He died in his home in Santo Domingo at the age of 68. Peguero was with the Giants for the past 18 years and was a ‘beloved member of the Giants family and has been synonymous with baseball in the Dominican Republic for decades,” the team’s President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi said in a statement.

San Francisco Giants podcast with Morris Phillips: Diamondbacks and Giants open up four game series tonight at Oracle

San Francisco Giants pitcher Alex Wood hopes that he won’t have to give up the ball to manager Gabe Kapler as seen here in Tue Jun 1, 2021 photo when Wood pitched against the Los Angeles Angels. Wood gets the start tonight at Oracle Park against the Arizona Diamondbacks (AP News photo)

On the Giants podcast with Morris:

#1 The Washington Nationals (27-35) came out early getting early runs one in the first and three in the second that helped them towards a 5-0 win over the San Francisco Giants (40-25)

#2 Giants Johnny Cueto showed signs of struggling to start Sunday’s contest at Nationals Park. Cueto pitched five plus, giving up nine runs and four earned runs.

#3 The Nats certainly got help at the plate from left fielder Kevin Schwarber who connected for two home runs including a three run homer in the first inning.

#4 The Nats also got brilliant starting pitching from Joe Ross who pitched eight innings surrendering five hits and throwing nine strikeouts to shutout the Giants.

#5 The Giants come home to face the Arizona Diamondbacks (20-46) on Monday night the D-Backs will start Matt Peacock (2-3 ERA 5.24) and the Giants will start Alex Wood (5-3 ERA 3.79) a 6:45pm PDT start at Oracle Park in San Francisco

Join Morris for the Giants podcasts each Monday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Schwarzer homers twice in Nationals win 5-0

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.

Giants Wade wins it in night cap with hit in extra innings 2-1

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.

First game of doubleheader: Schwarber provides the offense in Nationals win 2-0

The Washington Nationals Kevin Schwarber rounds the bases after hitting a first inning home run that would stand up against San Francisco Giants pitcher Kevin Gausman at Nationals Park in DC on Sat Jun 12, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Jeremy Kahn

Kyle Schwarber came up with the only offense that the Washington Nationals would need right off the bat against Kevin Gausman.

Schwarber hit a leadoff home run off of Gausman in the bottom of the first inning, helping the Nationals to a 2-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants in the first game of a split doubleheader at Nationals Park.

Gausman lost for the first time this season, as he went four innings, allowing two runs on three hits, walking two and striking out four in his shortest outing as a member of the Giants.

Erick Fedde picked up his fourth win of the season, as he went five innings in his first start since being taken off the injured list due to Covid-19. Fedde did not walk a batter, scattering four hits, not walking a batter and striking out seven in his return to the rotation.

Nationals setup man Kyle Finnegan came on to replace Fedde in the top of the sixth inning, as he gave up a hit and struck out one before giving way to closer Brad Hand, who struck out two, including Austin Slater on a called third strike to end the game.

Josh Harrison put the finishing touches on the scoring for the Nationals in the bottom of the fourth inning, as he doubled to right field to score Juan Soto, who walked to lead off the inning against Gausman.

The Giants could only muster four hits with two coming in the top of the second inning, as Wilmer Flores singled and then Mike Tauchman singled Flores to third base; however, Jason Vosler grounded into an inning ending double play to end the threat and the inning.

Gausman tried to help out his own cause, as he singled to lead off the top of the third inning, but LaMonte Wade, Jr., hit a sacrifice bunt to get Gausman to second base; however, Mike Yastrzemski and Buster Posey each grounded out to the inning.

NOTES: Yastrzemski was activated prior to the game, as he was reinstated from the 10-day disabled list and will be the 27th player for both games of the doubleheader.

The Giants have hit 62 home runs through their first 35 road games, and it is the second most home runs hit in their first 35 games on the road, trailing the 2000 Giants that hit 63 home runs.

Anthony DeSclafani is the first Giants pitcher to have multiple shutouts in a season since Johnny Cueto finished his first season with the team in 2016 with two, and the last Giants pitcher to have more than two shutouts was Jason Schmidt, who finished the 2006 season with three shutouts.

UP NEXT: Conor Menez will take the mound in the second game for the Giants, while the Nationals will send Jeffrey Rodriguez, to the mound after he was recalled from Triple-A Rochester.

DeSclafani and Posey lead Giants to shutout victory 1-0

San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey scored the only run of the game in the fourth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park in Washington DC Fri Jun 11, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Jeremy Kahn

It was the battery of the San Francisco Giants that supplied the winning punch in the opener of their four-game series against the Washington Nationals.

Anthony DeSclafani threw his second shutout of the season, and Buster Posey supplied the big hit of the game, when he hit a solo home run off of Paolo Espino in the top of the fourth inning and the Giants defeated the Nationals 1-0 at Nationals Park.

DeSclafani was on fire from the get go, as he retired the first nine batters he faced and then Trea Turner pit an end to that streak with a single to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning. He did not allow another hit until Josh Bell doubled off of DeSclafani with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning.

It was the third career shutout for DeSclafani and third complete game of his career, as he allowed just those two hits, walked just one and struck out eight on his way to his sixth win of the season against two losses.

This was the Giants major-league leading ninth shutout of the season, while the Nationals were shutout for the eighth time this season.

Posey hit a slider off of Espino that landed in the Giants bullpen for his 11th home run of the season.

The 11 home runs by Posey are more than he hit in both 2018 and 2019, and his career-high is 24 home runs in 2012, the year that he won the Most Valuable Player and helped lead the Giants to their second World Series Championship in three years.

Espino came on to replace Nationals starter Max Scherzer in the top of the 1st inning, as the three-time Cy Young Award winner was forced to leave the game after just 12 pitches after he felt a tweak in his groin.

An MRI was taken of Scherzers groin and it turned out to be an inflammation and he considers himself as day-to-day.

Mike Tauchman came up with another huge catch to rob Juan Soto of a potential game-tying home run in the bottom of the seventh inning.

It was the second time in three weeks that Tauchman made a game-saving catch, as he robbed Albert Pujols of potential game-winning home run on May 28 at Dodger Stadium.

That was insane huge catch, DeSclafani said. If you dont make that its a tie ballgame and I probably dont go nine.

Espino, who was forced into the game in the top of the first inning went 3.1 innings, allowing the only run of the game on three hits. Following Espino, four more relievers for the Nationals allowed just one hit and retired the final 16 Giants in a row.

NOTES: Prior to the game, the Giants traded Matt Wisler to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for left-handed reliever Michael Plassmeyer, who will report to Double-A Richmond.

According to Giants manager Gabe Kapler, Curt Casali, who is out with a left wrist strain and Mike Yastrzemski, who is out with a sprained right thumb should be reinstated from the 10-day injured list on Saturday. While, Darin Ruf, who is on the injured list with a right hamstring could be back when the Giants return home to face the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday night at Oracle Park. Caleb Baragar, out with inflammation in his left elbow was reinstated from the 10-day injured list.

UP NEXT: Kevin Gausman goes for his eighth win of the season in the opener of a split doubleheader for the Giants, while the Nationals will send Erick Fedde to the mound.