SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Max Scherzer struck out 11 in a five-hitter and the Washington Nationals beat the San Francisco Giants 3-1 on Wednesday night to complete a three-game sweep.
Ryan Zimmerman hit his 15th homer, a three-run shot off Matt Cain (3-4) in the first inning that stood up as Scherzer (6-3) went the distance for the first time this season.
Anthony Rendon and Trea Turner added two hits apiece to help Dusty Baker move within one win of becoming the 16th major league manager to reach 1,800 career victories.
Washington played without slugger Bryce Harper, who began serving a three-game suspension for his role in Monday’s bench-clearing brawl between the teams. Harper initially was suspended four games but had the penalty reduced and agreed to drop his appeal.
The game was a rematch of Game 4 in the 2012 World Series when Scherzer was with Detroit. Neither he nor Cain figured in the decision that time, but it was a different story Wednesday.
Scherzer retired 10 straight to begin the game. He allowed more than one runner in an inning only once and didn’t walk a batter for the second time this season on the way to his seventh career complete game.
Cain lost his third straight. The right-hander, who pitched 10 scoreless innings over two starts against the Nationals in 2016, allowed a pair of earned runs on eight hits in five innings.
Turner reached on shortstop Brandon Crawford’s fielding error and advanced to third on a hit-and-run single by Daniel Murphy. Zimmerman followed with his second home run in three games.
Eduardo Nunez rolled a grounder just past a diving Turner at shortstop in the fourth for San Francisco’s first hit. One batter later, Buster Posey lofted a fly to left-center but Jayson Werth and Michael A. Taylor appeared to miscommunicate, allowing the ball to drop in for a double as Nunez scored.
Giants: OF Hunter Pence went 1 for 2 with a walk in the first game of his rehab assignment with Class A San Jose. Pence played five innings and is scheduled for seven on Thursday. … LHP Madison Bumgarner played catch for a second straight day, this time from 75 feet, and the reports were good, according to manager Bruce Bochy.
Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (6-1, 2.94 ERA) will make his first career start against the Athletics in the opener of a three-game series at Oakland on Friday.
Giants: LHP Ty Blach (3-2, 3.83) goes for his fourth consecutive win Friday in Philadelphia. It will be Blach’s first career appearance against the Phillies.
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