Right-hander Max Scherzer allowed a walk and a single in the first inning. But then settled in to a Scherzer-like start with an amazing six strikeouts in a row.
The Nats connected with a pair of hits to begin the second against Giants starter Derek Holland courtesy of Mark Reynolds and Juan Soto. But a Michael A. Taylor 5-3 double play and a Wilmer Difo strikeout ended that chance.
Trea Turner was caught off of first base in the third to end another possibility. He felt Holland had balked. First base umpire Paul Nauert did not agree.
After three innings, the Nats and Giants are scoreless.
But in the fourth, Scherzer walked Pablo Sandoval and Brandon Crawford unloaded on a 2-2 pitch for a two-run shot over the right field wall. For Crawford it was homer No. 8, and the Giants led 2-0.
Update: Scherzer allowed doubles by Crawford and Austin Jackson but no runs in the fifth and sixth frames. Holland finished five innings, allowing no runs on three hits with two walks and four strikeouts. That Nats got Taylor to third and Pedro Severino reached on a walk with two outs in the fifth but Scherzer grounded out to second base on a fielder’s choice to end the inning. Facing Mark Melancon in the sixth, the Nats earned a two-out walk but nothing else.
After six innings the Giants led 2-0.
Update II: Scherzer went seven innings, allowed two runs on four hits with three walks and nine strikeouts. So much for the rematch of the bench clearing brawl. Down 2-0 in their last at-bat, Hunter Strickland got Bryce Harper to ground out to the shortstop playing near second base to begin the ninth. Anthony Rendon also grounded out to short. Pinch-hitter Matt Adams struckout to end the game. Strickland earns his 13thsave. Holland improves to 4-6. Scherzer falls to 10-2
Final score: The Giants 2, the Nats 0.