WASHINGTON – Erick Fedde returned after nearly a month on the COVID-19 injured list and pitched five sharp innings, Kyle Schwarber hit a leadoff homer and the Washington Nationals beat the San Francisco Giants 2-0 Saturday to open a doubleheader.
The Nationals handed Kevin Gausman (7-1) his first loss this season. He began the day with a 1.27 ERA, but Schwarber quickly put a dent in that impressive number.
Washington is now 1-5 in seven-inning games this year after Thursday’s rainout led to the day-night split doubleheader. The NL West-leading Giants are 1-2 in seven-inning games.
Fedde (4-4) last pitched on May 16 and was placed on the COVID-19 list three days later after testing positive. He rejoined the rotation by limiting the Giants to four hits while striking out seven and walking none.
“When they called me and told me, I was shocked,” Fedde said about his diagnosis.
“Obviously I’m not a scientist, but I was vaccinated and I felt great. I’m more than thankful I didn’t pass it around the team," he said.
Brad Hand pitched a perfect seventh for his 11th save.
Schwarber hit his sixth career leadoff homer, connecting for a drive into the second deck in left field. A day after being shut out by San Francisco, Schwarber broke the scoreless string with his 10th home run this season, tied with Trea Turner for the team lead.
Josh Harrison’s RBI double in the fourth made it 2-0. Giants right fielder Mike Yastrzemski got twisted around trying to make the catch which resulted in the ball hitting the wall, allowing Juan Soto to score from first.
Gausman allowed two runs on three hits while striking out four in four innings, and exited with a 1.43 ERA.
“Not how I wanted to start the game, obviously,” Gausman said after his shortest outing of the season.
“They got me early. We were in a hole right from the get-go," he said.
The Nationals won with four hits. The Giants got five hits and were shut out for the third time this season and first since April 12.
With Stephen Strasburg (neck) on the 10-day injured list and Max Scherzer’s status up in the air after leaving Friday’s game after just 12 pitches, manager Dave Martinez was more than pleased to have Fedde back in his rotation.
“That was amazing,” Martinez said about Fedde’s return.
“Came out and gave us the five innings we needed. That was a great performance by Fedde.”
Giants: Manager Gabe Kapler said it’s possible C Curt Casali (left wrist strain) could be reinstated off the 10-day IL for the second game.
Nationals: Martinez said he talked with Scherzer and that the Nationals ace feels a tick better than he did on Friday after feeling a tweak in his groin area. Scherzer was able to do some exercise and also received treatment on Saturday. … Right-handed reliever Daniel Hudson was placed on the 10-day IL with right elbow inflammation after having an MRI on Friday. The move is retroactive to June 10.
Giants: LHP Connor Menez (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will make his fifth appearance of the season and first start since August 11, 2019, in the second half of the doubleheader.
Nationals: RHP Jefry Rodriguez, who was recalled from Triple-A Rochester on Saturday, will make his first start of the season. Rodriquez went 3-3 with the Nationals in 2018 and last appeared in the majors in 2019 with Cleveland.
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