Aníbal Sanchez extended his unbeaten streak to 13-straight outings, over which he’s now (W, 7-0), with a six-inning start in Oracle Park in which he held San Francisco’s Giants to a total of two runs (one earned) on four hits.
Kurt Suzuki (3 for 4, HR) and Trea Turner (HR, 2 BB, 2 R) paced the Washington Nationals’ offense as they made it two in a row in the Giants’ home with a 5-3 win.
Sánchez vs San Francisco: Aníbal Sánchez gave up ten hits and four earned runs last time out, in his second start in 11 days against the Braves, but he received no decision in what ended up a 5-4 loss for the Nationals, so his unbeaten streak was extended to 12-straight outings, over which the veteran right-hander was (6-0), with a 2.88 ERA, 16 walks, 54 Ks, and a .229/.282/.379 line against in 65 2⁄3 innings.
Sánchez started the night with two quick, efficient innings against the Giants in Oracle Park, throwing a seven-pitch first, and 11-pitch second, but with the score 4-0 Nationals after three and a half, Kevin Pillar singled to start the home-half of the third inning with the first hit for the home team, took third on an errant throw on a pick attempt, and scored on a grounder to first by Brandon Crawford to make it a 4-1 game.
[ed. note - “Pitchers committing an error, like Sánchez did on the pick attempt, and then not being charged with an earned run when that runner scores es muy estupido.”]
A 16-pitch, 1-2-3 fourth left the Nationals’ starter at an efficient 51 pitches after four innings in San Francisco, and he was up to 65 total with a 5-1 lead after working around a one-out double in a 14-pitch bottom of the fifth.
Pablo Sandoval doubled down the right field line to start the sixth, however, and he scored from second on an RBI single by Brandon Belt in the next at bat, 5-2.
A walk to Buster Posey put two on with one out, but Sánchez got out of the inning with a three-run lead, at 87 pitches overall on the night. That was it for the Nats’ starter...
Aníbal Sánchez’s Line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 Ks, 87 P, 60 S, 7/7 GO/FO.
How nice has Aníbal Sánchez been since the start of May?— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 7, 2019
80.2 IP // 70 H // 25 ER // 23 BB // 69 K
That's a 2.79 ERA. pic.twitter.com/K9WofXpuRZ
Menez vs Washington: Conner Menez, the Giants’ 24-year-old, 2016 14th Round pick, made his MLB debut on July 21st, giving up three hits, two walks, and two earned runs over five innings on the mound against the New York Mets, receiving no decision in what ended up a 3-2 win.
Before he was called up, the left-hander put up a 3.29 ERA, 42 walks, and 132 strikeouts in 20 games (19 starts) and 104 innings pitched between Double-A and Triple-A in the Giants’ system.
“He’s had a nice year,” San Francisco’s manager Bruce Bochy said, as quoted by MLB.com’s Maria Guardado. “That’s why he’s here. He started out well in Double-A and went to Triple-A and did a nice job there, [and] I thought he gave us a solid five innings in the game that he did start here.”
In his second big league start, the lefty walked two batters in the first, putting Trea Turner on before picking him off first one out later, before a two-out walk to Anthony Rendon (who walked more then he K’d in college) and back-to-back singles by Juan Soto and Kurt Suzuki brought the first run of the game in, making it 1-0 Nationals.
Turner walked again to lead off the third, took third base on a Gerardo Parra single to short left, and scored on a sac fly to center by Rendon, 2-0, and Kurt Suzuki followed one out later with a two-run blast to left on a 1-2 slider low and in that went out to left to make it a 4-0 game in the visiting team’s favor.
Turner, (after walking the first two times up), battled Menez for eight pitches in his third trip to the plate, and launched a no-doubter of a homer to left on a 3-2 fastball belt-high inside, sending his 10th of 2019 into the stands to make it a 5-0 game.
Conner Menez’s Line: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 4 Ks, 2 HRs, 99 P, 61 S, 5/2 GO/FO.
Call him ‘Zuk!: Kurt Suzuki came into the second game of three in Oracle Park swinging a hot bat, with a .276 AVG (8 for 29) in his last nine games, and a .266/.327/.458 line, seven doubles, 10 home runs, 16 walks, and 22 runs scored in his 52 starts this season, and hits in 14 of his last 20 starting assignments.
Suzuki singled to drive in the Nationals’ first run of the game off Giants’ lefty Conner Menez, driving Anthony Rendon (who walked more than he K’d in college) after a two-out free pass in the Nationals’ half of the first. His second time up, the veteran catcher hit a two-run home run to left that made it a 4-0 game in the visiting team’s favor.
Suzuki singled to start the sixth as well, 3 for 3, but he was doubled up in the next at bat.
BULLPEN ACTION: Jandel Gustave came on for San Francisco in the top of the seventh, and retired the Nats in order in a 14-pitch frame.
Former Giants’ reliever Hunter Strickland gave up a one-out single by Kevin Pillar and a two-out, RBI double by Pablo Sandoval in the seventh, but kept it there, 5-3 Nationals.
Gustave came back out for the top of the eighth and worked around a leadoff double by Gerardo Parra and an ROE when Anthony Rendon reached on an error by Pablo Sandoval.
Fernando Rodney worked around a one-out single in a scoreless, 16-pitch eighth.
Williams Jerez got an inning-ending double play out of Asdrúbal Cabrera after giving up a one-out single by Victor Robles.
Sean Doolittle came on for the save opportunity and gave up a one-out double by Kevin Pillar (3 for 4), but stranded him at third two outs later. Ballgame.
Final Score: 5-3 Nationals.
Nationals now 60-53