Harper hits 19th homer and Nats hold off Giants 7-5
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Capitals showed off their newly won Stanley Cup as part of a pregame ceremony Saturday before the Nationals met the San Francisco Giants.
Bryce Harper has his mind on bringing another piece of hardware to Washington by the end of the year.
“I think a World Series trophy would be pretty cool, too,” the Nationals outfielder said.
Harper hit his National League-leading 19th homer of the season in the Nationals’ 7-5 victory. Harper’s 437-foot blast to right-center came off reliever Ty Blach in the fourth inning.
Adam Eaton scored two runs in his return from the disabled list for Washington.
Eaton, activated from the 60-day disabled list Saturday after missing 52 games with a left ankle bone bruise, was hit by a pitch to lead off the first. He scored on Anthony Rendon’s one-out single. An inning later, he scored again as part of a four-run rally to make it 5-0.
“Was able to have some fun out there,” Eaton said. “Got to third base in my second at-bat, and (coach Bobby Henley) asked how I felt and I said ‘I’m about round six with Mike Tyson.’ I was so tired. I’m so out of shape, it’s unbelievable.”
San Francisco starter Dereck Rodriguez (1-1), the son of Hall of Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez, allowed five runs in 2 2/3 innings after allowing a run in six innings in his first major league start Sunday.
“I felt the same; I just didn’t have my best stuff,” said Rodriguez, whose father was in attendance. “I just went out there and couldn’t really locate pitches.”
Giants catcher Nick Hundley hit a three-run homer into the San Francisco bullpen off Washington starter Gio Gonzalez in the third.
The Giants then loaded the bases with one out an inning later to chase Gonzalez, but managed only one run on Andrew McCutchen’s sacrifice fly.
“We had some good extended ABs against Gonzalez,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “We had some guys out there. We just needed another hit. We were missing that to finish the comeback.”
Justin Miller (3-0) retired all five batters he faced after replacing Gonzalez. Fellow reliever Brandon Kintzler left with a tight forearm after facing three batters in the eighth inning and will undergo an MRI on Sunday. He was replaced by Sean Doolittle, who earned his 16th save in 17 chances.
The Giants closed within 6-5 on Hundley’s one-out double in the seventh, but the Nationals got it back on Spencer Kieboom’s RBI double in the bottom half of the inning.
Gonzalez allowed four runs in 3 1/3 innings.
Giants: Shortstop Brandon Crawford was out of the starting lineup for the first time since May 16 as San Francisco followed a night game with a 12:05 p.m. local start. He struck out as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning. ... OF Gorkys Hernandez was hit in the ribs in the eighth inning but remained in the game. “I don’t know if he’s going to play tomorrow,” Bochy said.
Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (6-6, 3.46 ERA) will be placed on the disabled list for the sixth time in four seasons after an MRI revealed right shoulder inflammation. Strasburg left his start Friday after two innings. “Nothing else was wrong structurally,” manager Dave Martinez said. “So as soon as we can get that to calm down a little bit and get him throwing a little bit, we’ll be fine.” ... Second baseman Daniel Murphy (right knee) was 2 for 3 with a home run Friday for Double-A Harrisburg. He is hitting .265 with two homers and seven RBIs in nine games during his rehabilitation assignment.
Washington created room for Eaton on the 25-man roster by optioning RHP Wander Suero to Triple-A Syracuse and on the 40-man roster by releasing OF Rafael Bautista. Suero was 0-0 with a 4.15 ERA in 12 relief appearances. Bautista went 0 for 6 in nine games for the Nationals.
Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin threw out the first pitch — twice — as the Stanley Cup champions were honored. Ovechkin, the Conn Smythe Trophy winner after leading Washington to its first NHL title Thursday, sent his first pitch high above Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer before delivering a strike after asking for a do-over.
Giants: LHP Derek Holland (3-6, 4.91 ERA) faces Washington for the first time in his 10-year career as the three-game series concludes.
Nationals: Scherzer (10-1, 1.95) struck out 10 in six innings in an April 25 victory at San Francisco.
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