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Harper hits 19th homer and Nats hold off Giants 7-5

Bryce Harper, Nick Hundley
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Bryce Harper hit his National League-leading 19th homer of the season and the Washington Nationals defeated the San Francisco Giants 7-5 on Saturday.

Harper’s 437-foot blast to right-center came off reliever Ty Blach in the fourth inning.

Adam Eaton scored two runs in his return from the disabled list for Washington.

Eaton, activated from the 60-day disabled list Saturday after missing 52 games with a left ankle bone bruise, was hit by a pitch to lead off the first.

He scored on Anthony Rendon’s one-out single. An inning later, he scored again as part of a four-run rally against Dereck Rodriguez to make it 5-0.

Rodriguez (1-1), who allowed five runs in 2 2/3 innings, is the son of Hall of Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez.

Giants catcher Nick Hundley hit a three-run homer into the San Francisco bullpen off Washington starter Gio Gonzalez in the third.

The Giants then loaded the bases with one out an inning later to chase Gonzalez, but managed only one run on Andrew McCutchen’s sacrifice fly.

Justin Miller (3-0) retired all five batters he faced after replacing Gonzalez. Fellow reliever Brandon Kintzler left with an undisclosed injury after facing three batters in the eighth inning and was replaced by Sean Doolittle, who earned his 16th save in 17 chances.

The Giants closed within 6-5 on Hundley’s one-out double in the seventh, but the Nationals got it back on Spencer Kieboom’s RBI double in the bottom half of the inning.

Gonzalez allowed four runs in 3 1/3 innings.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Giants: Shortstop Brandon Crawford was out of the starting lineup for the first time since May 16 as San Francisco followed a night game with a 12:05 p.m. local start. He struck out as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning.

Nationals: Washington created room for Eaton on the 25-man roster by optioning RHP Wander Suero to Triple-A Syracuse and on the 40-man roster by releasing OF Rafael Bautista. Suero was 0-0 with a 4.15 ERA in 12 relief appearances. Bautista went 0 for 6 in nine games for the Nationals. … Second baseman Daniel Murphy (right knee) was 2 for 3 with a home run Friday for Double-A Harrisburg. He is hitting .265 with two homers and seven RBIs in nine games during his rehabilitation assignment.

VICTORY LAP

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin threw out the first pitch — twice — as the Stanley Cup champions were honored before the game. Ovechkin, the Conn Smythe Trophy winner after leading Washington to its first NHL title Thursday, sent his first pitch high above Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer before delivering a strike after asking for a do-over.

UP NEXT

Giants: LHP Derek Holland (3-6, 4.91 ERA) faces Washington for the first time in his 10-year career as the three-game series concludes.

Nationals: Scherzer (10-1, 1.95) struck out 10 in six innings in an April 25 victory at San Francisco.

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More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

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