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Washington Nationals swept with 3-1 loss to San Francisco Giants; drop fourth straight in first-half finale...

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Davey Martinez’s club were swept in their three-game set with the Giants, and they go into the All-Star break on a four-game losing streak...

Washington Nationals v San Francisco Giants Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Erick Fedde gave up a leadoff single by Brandon Crawford, a one-out single by Steven Duggar, and a three-run home run by San Francisco Giants’ catcher Curt Casali in the bottom of the second inning this afternoon, and that was enough for the home team in Oracle Park, with Kevin Gausman tossing six-strong in which he gave up four hits and allowed just one run (which scored after he left the mound with the bases loaded and no one out in the sixth). Giants sweep the three-game set with a 3-1 win. Nationals drop four straight going into the All-Star Break.

Fedde vs the Giants: After missing time on the COVID-IL between mid-May and mid-June after testing positive for COVID-19, Erick Fedde ended up on the IL again with an oblique issue in late June/early July. It’s been an up and down season for the 2014 1st Round pick, who returned to the rotation last week with a 4 13-inning outing in which he gave up eight hits and six earned runs. Though the results weren’t what he wanted, Fedde was happy to get back on the mound after a week-plus off it.

“Yeah, very happy, wish the start went a little better, but definitely that 10 days felt really long and I missed competing,” Fedde said.

This afternoon he was taking on a Giants team he tossed five scoreless innings against in Nationals Park last month.

His second start against San Francisco this season began with a leadoff walk and single, but a pop to the infield and inning-ending 4-3 DP on a liner to second got him out of a 13-pitch frame.

Fedde wasn’t as lucky in the second.

Brandon Crawford singled to start the inning, went first-to-third on a one-out hit by Steven Duggar, and then scored on a 3-run home run to center field by Curt Casali, who hit his 4th HR this season on an 0-1 sinker that went out to center field to put the Giants up 3-0 early.

Alex Dickerson doubled to start the Giants’ third, Crawford singled on a grounder to third, and a passed ball moved both runners into scoring position. A two-out intentional walk to Casali loaded the bases in front of pitcher Kevin Gausman, who K’d swinging to end a 19-pitch frame that left Fedde at 66 total after three innings pitched.

Fedde tossed scoreless frames in the fourth and fifth, retiring the side in order in the fourth and working around a one-out hit in the fifth, but he was up to 95 pitches overall by then so the Nationals hit for him in the top of the sixth...

Erick Fedde’s Line: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 7 Ks, 1 HR, 95 P, 56 S, 1/2 GO/FO.

Gausman vs the Nationals: Pitching in the first game of a seven-inning doubleheader in D.C. in June, Kevin Gausman gave up three hits, two walks, and two runs in four innings of work, taking his first L of the season in a 2-0 loss to the Nationals.

Before that the right-hander had gone (7-0) in 12 starts and 77 23 IP over which he put up a 1.27 ERA and a .156/.201/.250 line against.

In four starts that followed, Gausman went (1-2) with a 2.67 ERA and a .151/.233/.258 line against in 27 IP heading into today’s outing, and he tore through the Nats’ lineup early in this afternoon’s game.

Washington Nationals v San Francisco Giants Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Gausman struck out 6 of the first 10 batters he faced in three scoreless innings, throwing 46 pitches in the opening frames, as the Giants jumped out to a 3-0 lead, and he was at 9 from 17 batters faced after he struck out two in an 11-pitch, 1-2-3 fifth which left him at 72 pitches overall.

A 13-pitch, 1-2-3 sixth gave Gausman seven-straight outs and six scoreless innings on just 85 pitches.

Gausman returned to the mound in the seventh, but issued back-to-back walks to Juan Soto and Josh Bell to start the inning, and a base-loading single to left field by Starlin Castro sent the Giants’ starter to the showers...

Kevin Gausman’s Line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 9 Ks, 102 P, 67 S, 4/3 GO/FO.

Starlin Castreak: Starlin Castro started the first-half finale in Oracle Park with a 13-game hit streak, over which he was 20 for 44 (.455 AVG) with four doubles, one home run, 11 RBIs, six walks, and eight runs scored, with multi-hit efforts in seven of the 13 games. And once again he didn’t waste any time extending it, singling to short the first time up, beating a throw to first by Brandon Crawford, who fielded it on the outfield grass in the hole and made a really strong, but late, throw. Castro did, however, get picked off first base to end the top of the second. A single in the seventh gave him multi-hit games in 8 of 14. And he added a double for his third hit of the game.

Washington Nationals v San Francisco Giants Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Bullpen Action: Austin Voth was first out of the pen for the Nationals, and he worked around a leadoff walk in a 17-pitch sixth.

Dominic Leone took over on the mound for the Giants with the bases loaded with Nationals and no one out in the top of the seventh, with a 3-0 lead, and got what looked like a tailor-made 6-4-3 double play grounder off Josh Harrison’s bat, but after the force at second base, Giants’ first baseman LaMonte Wade, Jr. dropped the throw at first. So, 3-1, Giants, with two runners on, at first and third. Ryan Zimmerman flew out unproductively to short center field for out No. 2, and Victor Robles K’d swinging to end the threat.

Daniel Hudson retired the Giants in order in a 10-pitch bottom of the seventh.

Tyler Rogers retired the Nationals in order in an 11-pitch top of the eighth.

Kyle Finnegan struck out the side in the bottom of the eighth.

Giants closer Jake McGee came on for the save opportunity in the top of the ninth and worked around a two-out double by Starlin Castro to end it.

Giants sweep. Nationals weep. Or something. Enjoy your All-Star break...

Final Score: 3-1 Giants

Nationals now 42-47