Casey Schmitt homers in debut, Giants beat Nationals 4-1
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Casey Schmitt homered for his first career hit in his major league debut and the San Francisco Giants beat the Washington Nationals 4-1 on Tuesday night.
“It was just so much emotion,” Schmitt said. “Just everything kind of bundled into one. It was surreal.”
The 24-year-old was selected from Triple-A Sacramento earlier Tuesday and went 2 for 4 with dozens of friends and family members in attendance.
“I’m really excited that I was able to do that in front of the home crowd, doing it with my family as well,” he said. “It was really special.”
Schmitt tracked down the home run ball and traded a signed bat and ball to the young fan who caught it.
“My parents are going to have the ball,” he said. “So it’s going to be really cool to see that at home at the end of the season.”
Mitch Haniger drove in two runs and Logan Webb limited the Nationals to one run in seven innings.
Webb (3-5) struck out seven and allowed nine hits and a walk, pitching out of several jams. Washington left 10 men on base and went 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position.
“We had traffic all day,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “We just couldn’t get that big hit.”
Haniger gave San Francisco the early lead with a two-run double off Patrick Corbin in the first inning. Schmitt homered to center in the fourth to make it 3-0.
Corbin (1-5) gave up three runs (two earned) on eight hits in six innings, striking out three.
Dominic Smith provided the lone Nationals run on an RBI single in the sixth. He went 3 for 3 with a walk.
J.D. Davis added an insurance run for the Giants with an RBI single in the seventh.
Camilo Doval pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his eighth save in nine chances.
Corbin was hit by a 100-mph line drive off the bat of Haniger in the fifth inning. The ball ricocheted off Corbin’s left arm to his head, then toward third base, allowing Haniger to reach on an infield single. Corbin was able to stay in the game.
HIGHLIGHT REEL DEFENSE
Washington shortstop CJ Abrams robbed Davis of a hit and possibly an RBI with a spectacular diving catch in the first inning. With Haniger on second base and no outs, Davis ripped a 106-mph line drive to the right of shortstop. Abrams immediately reacted with a full-extension dive to make the catch.
Giants second baseman Thairo Estrada returned the favor in the sixth, smothering a sharp grounder by Abrams and throwing to first from his backside for the out.
The Giants designated 1B/OF Darin Ruf for assignment to clear a 40-man roster spot for Schmitt.
The 36-year-old Ruf appeared in nine games this year, hitting .261 (6 for 23) with three RBIs in his second stint with San Francisco. He was traded to the Mets last season, then released by New York on April 2. The Giants signed him to a minor-league contract six days later.
Ruf is a career .240 hitter with 67 homers and 205 RBIs in nine seasons with the Giants, Mets and Phillies.
San Francisco also optioned OF Cal Stevenson to Triple-A Sacramento.
Nationals: RHP Chad Kuhl (right foot metatarsalgia) threw three innings and more than 60 pitches in a simulated game Tuesday. “He felt good,” Martinez said. “We’ll see how he feels tomorrow and we’ll see what the next steps will be for him.”
Giants: SS Brandon Crawford (strained right calf) is nearing a return from the injured list. “Craw is coming along fine,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “I think the expectation originally was that he might be ready to come off the IL as early as tomorrow. That may be pushed back a few days, depending on how he feels. … I don’t think he’s far off.”
RHP Josiah Gray (2-5, 3.03 ERA) starts the series finale for the Nationals on Wednesday afternoon opposite Giants LHP Sean Manaea (1-1, 7.33).
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