It’s not full revenge for last October’s NLDS loss, but the Washington Nationals (46-36) continued their excellent play at home by defeating the San Francisco Giants (42-41), 3-1. The game was decided in the bottom of the sixth inning with a Wilson Ramos solo home run off George Kontos when the game was tied at one. Ramos went 2-for-3 with two RBI’s and Jordan Zimmermann gave the Nats seven strong innings en route to the team winning it’s ninth straight home game and handing the Giants their sixth straight loss.
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After both teams missed opportunities to score in the first inning, the Nats were the ones that got on the board in the second. After Giants’ starter Ryan Vogelsong walked Wilson Ramos and Danny Espinosa, Ian Desmond struck out swinging, but the runners moved up a base on the wild pitch. That would set up Michael Taylor to drive in Ramos with a RBI single to left to put the Nationals in front, 1-0.
San Francisco would answer back with a run of their own in the fourth. With two outs and in a 3-0 count, manager Bruce Bochy turned Brandon Crawford loose and he hit a fastball into the Nats bullpen in right for a solo shot. His 12th home run of the season tied the game at one.
All night long, the Giants were arguing about the strike zone from home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi. In the fifth inning, Cuzzi ejected Bochy and Vogelsong from the game. Josh Osich would come in to the game to replace Vogelsong.
With one out in the bottom of the sixth, the Nationals would re-take the lead. Facing George Kontos (2-1, 1.74), Ramos hit the second pitch he saw over the fence in right center field for his eighth home run of the season. The solo shot gave the Nats a 2-1 lead.
As for Jordan Zimmermann (7-5, 3.04), he put together an excellent outing. He went seven innings, gave up one run on three hits, struck out eight batters (tied a season high) and walked one on 100 pitches (66 strikes) to secure his seventh win of the season.
After David Carpenter and Matt Thornton combined to throw a scoreless eighth inning, the Nats tacked on one more insurance run. Bryce Harper started it off by hitting a ball to left center for a base hit. Hustling all the way, the right fielder was able to get to second with a leadoff double. After Tyler Moore (pinch-hitting for Robinson) advanced him over to third on a sacrifice fly to right, Ramos drove in Harper with a base hit to center. His second RBI of the night put Washington in front, 3-1.
In the Nats’ win, Danny Espinosa went 2-for-3 with a walk and Bryce Harper, who was named to the All-Star team as the leading vote-getter before the game, went 2-for-3 with a single and a double. Harper had an excellent series against the Giants, going 5-for-8 with a home run, two RBI’s and five walks.
While Drew Storen got in some trouble in the ninth when he walked Buster Posey on four pitches with one out, the Nats’ closer got out of it by getting Crawford and Gregor Blanco to hit the ball right back to him to end the game and secure Storen’s 25th save of the season.
Next Game: The Washington Nationals will begin a three game series against the Cincinnati Reds (36-44) at Nats Park tomorrow night. You can catch the game at 7:05 PM ET on MASN. Doug Fister (3-4, 4.34) gets the start for Washington against Anthony DeSclafani (5-6, 3.68) for the Reds.