Nationals win 4-2 in opener of key series against Giants

ABS-CBN Sports on Jul 29, 2016 06:04 PM
 Nationals win 4-2 in opener of key series against Giants
Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos, left, and pitcher Shawn Kelley (27) celebrate after the Nationals beat the San Francisco Giants in a baseball game in San Francisco, Thursday, July 28, 2016. The Nationals won 4-2. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Washington's Shawn Kelley struck out San Francisco's Angel Pagan with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning to end the game and give the Nationals a 4-2 win against the Giants in the opening game of a key four-game series between National League divisional leaders.

The Nationals went into the game with identical win-loss records and it was Washington that became the second team in the majors to reach the 60-win milestone this season, after the Chicago Cubs, who moved to 61 with a victory over their crosstown rivals, the White Sox.

In another key result between teams in the thick of the NL wildcard chase, St. Louis defeated Miami to leave those teams locked on identical 55-47 records, while the key American League encounter saw Texas beat Kansas City thanks to another powerful pitching performance by Cole Hamels.

Washington's Ryan Zimmerman had two hits and scored a run while Trea Turner added two hits for the Nationals, and manager Dusty Baker — who led the Giants to 840 games — took the bragging rights against his old team.

Nationals starter Tanner Roark allowed one run over seven innings.

White Sox pitcher Chris Sale returned from his team-enforced suspension for destroying jerseys and pitched six effective innings but it was not enough to prevent a 3-1 loss to the Cubs.

Sale tore up retro uniforms he didn't want to wear before his previous scheduled start. Upon his return, he had command issues, but worked out of trouble while allowing two runs.

He was outpitched by Cubs starter John Lackey, who allowed one run in six innings.

Closer Aroldis Chapman, in his second appearance since being acquired from the New York Yankees, struck out two to get the final four outs and take his first save for his new team.

St. Louis' Aledmys Diaz homered, doubled and drove in three runs as the Cardinals edged Miami 5-4.

Diaz and Matt Holliday homered in the third inning against Jose Fernandez, who had never previously given up more than one homer in a home game. His only other loss at Marlins Park came on opening day this year against Detroit.

Diaz and Fernandez were neighbors growing up in Santa Clara, Cuba. Fernandez gave up five runs in five innings and took only his second loss ever at Marlins Park, against 26 wins.

Miami's Dee Gordon, the 2015 NL batting and stolen bases champion, returned from an 80-game suspension for failing a drug test and went 0 for 4. Ichiro Suzuki doubled as a pinch hitter in the seventh for Miami and needs two hits for 3,000.

Texas' Hamels earned his 12th win of the season as he guided the Rangers to a 3-2 victory over Kansas City.

Hamels allowed two runs in eight innings, matching his longest start of the season.

Mitch Moreland's second homer of the game broke a tie in the eighth inning. It was Moreland's 10th career multi-homer game and second of the season.

New York closer Jeurys Familia stumbled for a second straight game, allowing two runs in the ninth inning in a 2-1 loss that handed Colorado its seventh victory in eight games.

Less than 24 hours after Familia's streak of 52 consecutive regular-season saves was snapped, he entered in the top of the ninth with a 1-0 lead, and couldn't hold it.

Trevor Story had a leadoff single and stole second. After a walk, Daniel Descalso bunted up the first base line. The Mets catcher watched as the ball spun toward foul territory but it stopped fair, loading the bases with no out.

With one out, Cristhian Adames hit a slow grounder which first baseman James Loney could not field and Story scored to make it 1-1. Familia then threw a wild pitch, allowing the go-ahead run.

A throwing error to home plate by Boston's Hanley Ramirez on Daniel Nava's bases-loaded grounder allowed two runs to score, and the Los Angeles Angels walked off with a stunning 2-1 victory over the Red Sox.

Minnesota rookie Max Kepler continued his midseason surge with a tying home run to help the Twins beat Baltimore 6-2.

Milwaukee's Hernan Perez hit a two-run homer, singled and scored the go-ahead run in the sixth as the Brewers beat Arizona 6-4.

Philadelphia's Aaron Altherr and Maikel Franco homered in a 7-5 win for the Phillies against Atlanta.

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