June 9, 2018 / 7:57 PM / 4 months ago

Harper belts 19th homer as Nationals dispatch Giants

Bryce Harper increased his National League-best home run count to 19 while Anthony Rendon and Matt Adams each drove in two runs as the Washington Nationals defeated the San Francisco Giants 7-5 on Saturday afternoon at Nationals Park.

Neither starter fared well in this game. San Francisco starter Dereck Rodriguez (1-1), son of former Washington catcher Ivan Rodriguez, gave up five runs and six hits in 2 2/3 innings and lacked command.

Gio Gonzalez got an early 5-0 lead for the Nationals but lasted only 3 1/3 innings. He allowed four runs on six hits and walked four.

Justin Miller (3-0) then came on, threw 1 2/3 hitless innings and got the win. Sean Doolittle recorded his 16th save.

The Nationals found some offensive punch when Adam Eaton (ankle procedure) came back off the 60-day disabled list. Manager Dave Martinez shifted Harper from right field to center, placed Eaton in right and sat Michael A. Taylor at the start.

Eaton (1-for-4, two runs scored) last played April 11 and was a reason that Rodriguez struggled in that first inning. Rodriguez hit leadoff batter Eaton and then walked Trea Turner.

One out later, Rendon drove in Eaton with a single that gave the Nationals a 1-0 lead. Washington then extended it to 5-0 with four runs in the second.

Turner got an RBI single, and Rendon drove in a run on a force play. Adams then lined a two-run double for the five-run lead.

But Nick Hundley’s three-run homer in the third helped the Giants rally. They added a run in the fourth on an Andrew McCutchen sacrifice fly.

Harper then lined a solo homer in the bottom of the fourth before Hundley’s RBI double cut it to 6-5 in the seventh. The Giants had runners on second and third with one out after the double but right-hander Ryan Madson struck out the next two.

The Nationals got some insurance in the bottom half as Spencer Kieboom lined an RBI double and put them up, 7-5.

San Francisco threatened again in the eighth, putting two on with two out. Doolittle came on and got the final out and then took care of the ninth to close it out.

—Field Level Media

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