Brandon Crawford hit a two-run homer, and the San Francisco Giants ended Max Scherzer’s nine-game winning streak with a 2-0 victory over the Washington Nationals on Sunday afternoon at Nationals Park.
Crawford, who finished the day a triple short of the cycle, went 4-for-4 with the homer, a single and two doubles. He is batting .338 this season, among the top five in the National League.
Scherzer (10-2) had not lost since April 4 in Atlanta. He struck out six in a row at one point early in the game and pitched well once more.
The right-hander allowed just the two runs on four hits and three walks while striking out nine in seven innings. Scherzer is tied with the Cleveland Indians’ Corey Kluber for the major league lead in wins.
Derek Holland (4-6) got the victory thanks to five shutout innings in his first career appearance against the Nationals. Holland allowed three hits, struck out four and walked two.
The Giants then used Mark Melancon (sixth), Sam Dyson (seventh) and Tony Watson (eighth) before turning the ball over to closer Hunter Strickland in the ninth. Strickland finished it off and earned his 13th save.
The four relievers allowed a total of no runs or hits in their four innings, making the Crawford homer stand up.
Scherzer struck out the final batter in the first. He then struck out five more in a row in a streak that lasted into the third.
The Giants made their move in the fourth. Pablo Sandoval led off the with a walk before Crawford crushed his two-run homer to right field.
Crawford hit a 2-2 cutter that did not break, instead just hanging out over the plate, and the ball went into the second deck.
San Francisco had some other scoring chances but could not come up with hits at the right time. The Giants went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left seven on base.
Washington’s best scoring chance came when it put runners on first and third with two outs in the fifth, but Scherzer grounded into a force play and ended the inning.
—Field Level Media