Craw­ford homers as Gi­ants beat Scherzer, Na­tion­als

Manteca Bulletin - - Sports -

WASH­ING­TON (AP) — Bran­don Craw­ford did some­thing on Sun­day that few hit­ters have done this sea­son. He got the best of Max Scherzer.

Craw­ford went 4 for 4 with a two- run homer, and the Gi­ants dealt Scherzer his first loss in more than two months, de­feat­ing the Na­tion­als 2- 0 to win the three­game se­ries.

After Pablo San­doval walked lead­ing off the fourth, Craw­ford home­red into the sec­ond deck in right for his eighth of the sea­son. He sin­gled in the first and dou­bled in the sixth off Scherzer and added a dou­ble off Matt Grace in the eighth.

“I threw good pitches to him. He put great swings on them. He wins, I lose,” Scherzer said. “That’s as sim­ple as that. He’s hot. I have to be bet­ter than him. To­day, he was great.”

Craw­ford has been great for the past six weeks. Since May 1, he is hit­ting an MLBbest .439 ( 58 for 132) and has raised his av­er­age to .338.

“It’s been im­pres­sive. It re­ally has. To sus­tain the qual­ity at- bats that he has for this long. That’s why yes­ter­day I gave him a day,” said man­ager Bruce Bochy, who lim­ited Craw­ford to a pinch- hit­ting ap­pear­ance on Satur­day.

Craw­ford ad­mit­ted he might have cost him­self the cy­cle when he lashed a hit down the left- field line in the eighth and ended up with his sec­ond dou­ble.

“Right when I hit it I was think­ing about it and I was run­ning hard out of the box and then I saw it was curv­ing pretty hard and I thought it was go­ing to go foul and I slowed up for sec­ond,” he said. “I was a lit­tle dis­ap­pointed in my­self.”

Derek Hol­land ( 4- 6), a 10- year vet­eran fac­ing Wash­ing­ton for the first time, al­lowed three hits and two walks in five in­nings as five pitch­ers com­bined for the three- hit­ter. Hunter Strick­land pitched the ninth for his 13th save.

Scherzer ( 10- 2) had won nine straight de­ci­sions since his last loss on April 4.

He al­lowed two runs and four hits while strik­ing out nine over seven in­nings. He struck out the side on 11 pitches in the sec­ond in­ning in the midst of six straight strike­outs.

Austin Jack­son had the Gi­ants’ only other hit against Scherzer.

Hol­land al­lowed the first two Na­tion­als to reach in the sec­ond but in­duced a dou­ble- play grounder from Michael A. Taylor and struck out Wilmer Difo.

“I knew go­ing into the game I can’t make any mis­takes,” Hol­land said. “He’s Max Scherzer. I mean he’s been do­ing a great job this year. He held us to two runs.”

END­ING THE DROUGHT The Gi­ants earned their first se­ries vic­tory at Na­tion­als Park since tak­ing two of three games from July 9- 11, 2010.

SO FAR, SOTO GOOD With his sin­gle, Na­tion­als rookie OF Juan Soto has reached base safely in 16 of 19 games played. He is bat­ting .328 ( 20 for 61).

TRAINER’S ROOM Gi­ants: OF Gorkys Her­nan­dez, who was hit in the ribs in the eighth in­ning Satur­day, was out of the lineup. Bochy said Her­nan­dez was avail­able to pinch hit Sun­day and to play Mon­day. ... 1B/ OF Bran­don Belt ( ap­pen­dix re­moved on June 1) will be­gin tak­ing swings to­mor­row. ... RHP Johnny Cueto ( right el­bow in­flam­ma­tion) and RHP Jeff Sa­mardz­ija ( right shoul­der tight­ness) are both ex­pected to throw 40- pitch bullpen ses­sions Mon­day.

Na­tion­als: 2B Daniel Murphy ( right knee surgery) re­joined the team Sun­day, tak­ing bat­ting prac­tice and field­ing grounders. He’ll ac­com­pany the team to New York where they open a two- game se­ries Tues­day against the Yan­kees. ... RHP Stephen Stras­burg ( right shoul­der in­flam­ma­tion) and RHP Bran­don Kint­zler ( right fore­arm flexor strain) were placed on the 10- day dis­abled list. RHP Trevor Gott and RHP Wan­der Suero were re­called from Triple- A Syra­cuse.

UP NEXT Gi­ants: LHP Madi­son Bum­gar­ner ( 0- 1, 3.00 ERA) makes his sec­ond start of the sea­son as San Fran­cisco be­gins a fourgame se­ries at Mi­ami. He’s 2- 3 with a 4.73 ERA in in seven starts against Mi­ami.

Na­tion­als: RHP Tan­ner Roark ( 3- 6, 3.56 ERA) makes his first ca­reer start against the Yan­kees Tues­day night.

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