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Washington Nationals drop nightcap to San Francisco Giants in extras, 2-1 final

We still don’t like the free runner on second in extras. And not just because the Nationals lost in extra tonight...

MLB: Game Two-San Francisco Giants at Washington Nationals Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Washington’s Nationals got four scoreless innings out of starte Jefry Rodríguez, in the right-hander’s first start in the majors since 2019, but they didn’t get much going offensively against San Francisco’s relief corps on a bullpen day for the visiting club in the nightcap of today’s doubleheader in Nationals Park.

It was a 0-0 game in D.C. through seven, so they went to extras, and the Giants drove their free runner in and added another run in a 2-1 win.

Rodriguez vs the Giants: Jefry Rodríguez, 27, signed with the Washington Nationals as an amateur free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2012, debuted in the majors in 2018, and was traded to Cleveland in the Yan Gomes deal that winter, before re-signing in D.C. this past December on a minor league deal.

Through six games (five starts) at Triple-A in the Nationals’ system this season, Rodríguez was (1-0) with a 7.56 ERA, 13 walks, and 19 strikeouts in 16 23 IP before he was called back up, with just one home run allowed over that stretch.

“I’m not going to put any limitations on it,” Davey Martinez said before tonight’s game when he was asked what he expected to get out of the right-hander.

“For me, as long as he’s throwing strikes and pounding the strike zone, and getting outs, we’ll see how far he can go.”

Rodríguez stranded two walks in a 24-pitch first, retired the side in order in an 11-pitch top of the second, stranded a leadoff double in a 15-pitch third, and erased a one-out walk in the fourth when he dialed up an inning-ending 6-4-3 DP that got him through a relatively quick, 10-pitch frame, finishing four scoreless on 60 pitches, 32 strikes...

Jefry Rodríguez’s Line: 4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 2 Ks, 60 P, 32 S, 3/3 GO/FO.

Menez vs the Nationals: Giants’ skipper Gabe Kapler opted to go with lefty Conner Menez in the nightcap of today’s doubleheader, giving the southpaw the start after he’d made four appearances out of the bullpen this season, giving up just two hits while walking no one and striking out 10 of the 26 batters he faced in the majors. Menez was called up on June 1, after the Giants placed Scott Kazmir on the IL.

Menez, a 2014 16th Round pick by San Francisco, debuted in the majors in 2019 and made seven appearances last season, but tonight’s outing was his first start/open.

The left-hander retired the Nationals in order in the first, a quick, 12-pitch frame, then gave up a one-out walk and single in the second, but stranded both runners in what ended up a 31-pitch frame that ended his outing.

Conner Menez’s Line: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 43 P, 26 S, 4/0 GO/FO.

Bullpen Action: Jarlin García retired the Nationals in order in a nine-pitch third.

Dominic Leone stranded Josh Harrison at second after a two-out double in the bottom of the fourth.

Kyle McGowin took over on the mound for the Nationals in the top of the fifth, and retired the side in order, striking out two in a 14-pitch frame.

Zack Littel was next out of the pen for the Giants, and the right-hander worked around a two-out single by Victor Robles for a scoreless frame. Still 0-0.

Tanner Rainey issued a one-out walk to Donovan Solano and hit Brandon Belt with a two-strike slider to put two on, but he stranded both runners in a 23-pitch frame.

Tyler Rogers came out sidewinding and retired the Nationals in order in a 10-pitch frame.

Brad Hand came out again after tossing a scoreless seventh this afternoon and walked the first batter he faced, Mauricio Dubon, but got a force at second on an Austin Slater ground ball to short for out No. 1. Curt Casali grounded into another force at second for out No. 2, and Buster Posey grounded out to second to end the top of the inning.

Jake McGee sent it to extras with a scoreless seventh, striking out the side.

Kyle Finnegan gave up a leadoff single by Lamont Wade, Jr., who drove in the free runner on second to give the Giants a 1-0 lead. A wild pitch moved Wade up to second base, and then a grounder to short got him over to third, ahead of a throw from Trea Turner.

A walk to Brandon Belt loaded the bases with no one out, and Wilmer Flores lined a high, 0-2 slider to left for an RBI single and a 2-0 lead. Michael Tauchman grounded toward first and Ryan Zimmerman tossed it to the plate for a force and out No. 1. That was it for Finnegan in his second appearance of the day.

Ryne Harper got another force at home on a weak grounder to third by Mauricio Dubón, and a fly to left ended the inning.

Starlin Castro doubled off Giants’ lefty Caleb Baragar to start the Nationals’ half of the eighth, 2-1, when the Nats’ free runner (Yan Gomes) scored.

Victor Robles took a slider to the shoulder in the next at bat, putting two on with no one out, but he was thrown out trying to tag and move up on a Josh Bell fly to right. Two out. Trea Turner popped out to end it.

Final Score: 2-1 Giants

Nationals now 26-35