The visiting San Francisco Giants go for a three-game sweep of the Washington Nationals on Sunday.
So far the Giants have benefitted from strong pitching — both from their starters and relievers — and multiple contributions on offense.
Starter Alex Wood turned in five strong innings Saturday before four relievers kept the Nationals scoreless the rest of the way to close out a 5-2 win.
Wood, who would have liked to go another inning, was not afraid to turn it over to a Giants bullpen that leads the majors with a 1.78 ERA.
“We’ve got a lot of good arms, and so any time I turn the ball over I feel pretty good about it, especially some of the guys we had rested today,” Wood said. “Just pass the baton and they did a great job shutting it down.”
Eight Giants combined for 10 hits, two of them on bunts against the shift by Mike Yastrzemski and Luis Gonzalez. San Francisco leads the majors with seven bunt hits.
“The players ultimately are seeing the defenses and how they’re lined up against them,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “They want to take the opportunities when they feel like they can get a good pitch to bunt.”
The Giants will go for the sweep behind Logan Webb (1-1, 2.55), who last gave up three runs on six hits and three walks in 3 2/3 innings of a loss to the New York Mets.
Webb hadn’t taken a loss since last May 5, a stretch of 24 starts including the postseason that set a franchise record, breaking one held by Hall of Famer Carl Hubbell (22 starts). The Giants went 21-3 in those starts.
In Webb’s lone career start against Washington, he pitched three scoreless innings with one hit and four strikeouts in July 2019.
Washington looks to snap a four-game losing streak and has scored nine runs in its past five games.
On Saturday, Riley Adams hit his first homer of the season and Lane Thomas drove in a run to pull Washington within 5-2 in the fifth. The Nationals had two runners on in the sixth, but Austin Slater’s diving catch ended the rally.
Manager Dave Martinez moved Thomas to the leadoff spot, where he went 1-for-4. Cesar Hernandez was moved from first to sixth and went 2-for-4.
“I just want to see if we can jumpstart Lane a little bit,” Martinez said of the switch. “He did well for us in the leadoff spot. I talked to Cesar last night about letting him relax a little bit and not trying to put so much pressure on him trying to get on base and just swing the bat. And he did well today. I mean, they both did well.”
Two and three hitters Juan Soto (0-for-3) and Nelson Cruz (0-for-4) were hitless and Washington’s best hitter thus far, clean-up batter Josh Bell, left after the second inning with a right hamstring strain. He went for an MRI after the game.
Rookie right-hander Joan Adon (1-2, 5.87) starts the finale for Washington.
In his last start, he threw 6 1/3 shutout innings with five strikeouts and two walks in a win against the Diamondbacks.
“This kid, he’s bright and he pays attention,” Martinez said afterward. “Today, he was fun to watch, and it was fun to watch him compete.”
–Field Level Media