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Duffy powers the Giants past Scherzer, Nats


Duffy powers the Giants past Scherzer, Nats

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Matt Duffy homered among his three hits and drove in three runs, Hunter Pence also had a homer and the San Francisco Giants beat the Washington Nationals 8-5 Friday night.

Gregor Blanco added three hits and drove in two runs for the Giants, who have won three of four since being swept in a four-game series by the Cubs in Chicago.

Bryce Harper homered and drove in four runs and Danny Espinosa also went deep for the Nationals, who lost their fourth straight and fifth in the last six.

Max Scherzer (11-9), facing the Giants for the first time since Game 4 of the 2012 World Series, gave up a season-high six runs on seven hits over three innings. He allowed two home runs and has given up five over his past two starts after giving up 13 through his first 22 starts. Scherzer struck out three and did not walk a batter.

Giants starter Matt Cain failed to finish the fifth inning for a second straight start, allowing five runs on six hits in 4 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out three. Cain has given up 18 runs over his last four starts and has a ERA of 8.24 over that stretch.

Jeremy Affeldt (2-2) took over for Cain in the fifth and pitched an inning to get the win.

Harper's 30th home run, a three-run shot in the fifth, pulled the Nationals to 6-5. Cain allowed two more baserunners -- including one that reached on an error -- before Affeldt ended the threat.

Harper, who hit a sacrifice fly in the first, became the 37th player to hit as many as 30 home runs as a 22-year old.

Duffy, who committed two of the Giants' three errors, homered in the first, doubled in a run in the second, singled in the fourth and hit a sacrifice fly in the eighth.


Nationals: OF Reed Johnson (left calf strain) went 0 for 2 in his first rehab start with Single-A Potomac on Thursday night and took Friday night off. ... RHP David Carpenter is close to pitching off a mound.

Giants: RHP Tim Hudson (right shoulder strain) allowed one hit in 2 2/3 scoreless innings in a rehab start with the Single-A San Jose Giants. He threw 31 pitches, 22 for strikes, and struck out two. ... C Andrew Susac (right thumb sprain) went 2 for 4, including a two-run homer, in the same game. He's expected to play for Triple-A Sacramento on Saturday.


Nationals infielder Dan Uggla, currently on the disabled list with a back issue, was presented with a World Series ring by the Giants on Friday night. Uggla appeared in four games last year with the defending champions, going 0 for 12 with a run scored and a walk.


Nationals: LHP Gio Gonzalez (9-4, 3.50) goes for his sixth consecutive win Saturday. Gonzalez, who threw eight scoreless innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers in his last start, has an ERA of 1.48 over his last eight starts.

Giants: RHP Jake Peavy (2-5, 3.75) is 2-3 with a 2.74 ERA since coming off the disabled list July 3. He's 4-6 with a 3.79 ERA in 13 games against the Nationals.

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What to make of the Strasburg-Scherzer shouting match in the Nationals' dugout

USA Today Sports

What to make of the Strasburg-Scherzer shouting match in the Nationals' dugout

Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer had a heated exchange in the Nationals dugout Friday night.

It was another not-so-great moment in an otherwise unspectacular season for the Nats so far.

Things like this often appear worse than they are based on what we can see, not hear, on television. In any case, it has fans and pundits talking about a perceived off-the-field issue instead of the actual game. There's nothing "good" about this, but there are important factors that are "bad" and ones that are "not bad."

Davey Martinez, Strasburg and Scherzer already said this has been settled and wasn't a big deal in the first place, but for a manager who's already faced some scrutiny this year for how he manages his pitchers, having two of them go at it in the dugout isn't ideal.

It also doesn't present the best optics for a team that came out of the All-Star Break 5.5 games back of the division-leading Philadelphia Phillies. The Nationals need to build some momentum heading into the dog days of summer, and after a lackluster first half, this isn't how anybody would want to start the second half.

This was also Strasburg's first start back from a month-long stint on the disabled list. Ryan Zimmerman just rejoined the club as well. Things are shaping up to make for a solid second-half run, but all this does is detract from that.

The Nationals also just hosted the first All-Star Game in Washington since 1969. Having something like this happen in the dugout where everybody can see it takes away from some of that good publicity.

But there are also positives, or at least non-negatives, to take from this. Scherzer has always been ultracompetitive, and as the best pitcher on the staff, he needs to harness that into leadership. With Strasburg coming off a rough inning, Scherzer may have thought he needed a little tough love from a veteran. There's nothing wrong with that. Strasburg, to his credit, has never been one to focus too much on himself, so if there's anyone who can take something like this constructively, it'd be him.

This isn't Jonathan Paplebon fighting Bryce Harper for not running out a pop fly the day after the Nats were eliminated from playoff contention. These are two veteran guys who play the same position who are both competitive and want to win. It's akin to an older brother pushing his younger brother to do better. Strasburg even hinted at the family aspect after the game.

In the end, there's really nothing to see here. Frustration is part of the game. Talking it out is a part of remedying the frustration.

What really matters is tracking down the Braves and the Phillies. The Nationals can get started on that Sunday in the second game of a rain-shortened two-game series against the Braves.


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Saturday's Nationals game rained out, to be postponed

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Saturday's Nationals game rained out, to be postponed

Following a dicey matchup between the Nats and Braves Friday night which featured a heated argument between Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, the Nationals are getting a much-needed opportunity to regroup.

The Washington Nationals' official Twitter account announced that Saturday evening's matchup will be postponed due to inclement weather just after 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

The Nationals had planned to host "JMU Night" at the ballpark as a part of their "College Day" series, and due to more forecasted inclement weather Sunday, the Nationals decided to call the game off sooner rather than later.

The Nationals have yet to announce when the game will be made up.

If Sunday's game is played as scheduled, Max Scherzer will start.

This post will be updated when more information regarding a makeup date has been announced.