SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Kevin Gausman worked six-plus innings of one-run ball and Curt Casali hit a three-run homer as the San Francisco Giants beat the Washington Nationals 3-1 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.
San Francisco heads into the All-Star break with the best record in the majors at 57-32, a huge surprise for a team that wasn’t expected to contend in the NL West.
Gausman (9-3), a nine-year veteran headed to his first All-Star Game, struck out nine and held Washington to four hits as he lowered his ERA to 1.73, second in the majors to the Mets’ Jacob deGrom (1.08).
Casali, filling in for injured All-Star catcher Buster Posey, hit an 0-1 sinker from Erick Fedde (4-6) to left-center in the second to put the Giants ahead 3-0.
In nine career games against Washington, Casali is 12 for 23 (.522) with four homers.
Gausman held Washington to three infield singles through the first six innings. But he left a dicey situation for his bullpen in the seventh as the Nationals loaded the bases with no outs.
Dominic Leone limited the damage to one run, striking out Victor Robles with runners at first and third to end the inning.
Starlin Castro doubled with two outs in the top of the ninth, but Giants closer Jake McGee retired Josh Harrison on a lineout to second baseman Donovan Solano to earn his 19th save.
Washington placed reliever Kyle McGowin on the 10-day injured list with right biceps fatigue after he left Saturday’s game early. Right-hander Andres Machado was recalled from Triple-A Rochester to take his spot.
The Giants optioned right-hander Tyler Beede to Triple-A Sacramento, a day after he gave up three runs in one inning of relief. He’ll return to starting duties in the minors, manager Gabe Kapler said. Lefty reliever Caleb Baragar was recalled.
Giants: Tommy La Stella (fractured thumb) played five innings at second base and went 0 for 2 Saturday in his first rehab appearance for Sacramento.
After the All-Star break, the Nationals will host San Diego for a three-game series that starts Friday. The Giants open up the second half with a three-game series at St. Louis. Neither team has announced its starting pitcher.
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