With a victory Sunday, Washington can complete its first series sweep since taking both games from Toronto in August 2021. The Nationals haven't swept a three-game series since June 2021 against Pittsburgh.
San Francisco has lost four in a row since a seven-game winning streak spanning the All-Star break. The Giants fell four games behind the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers, their biggest deficit in the division race since July 4.
Abrams ended San Francisco starter Logan Webb's night by sending a two-run homer into the first row of seats in right-center to cap a six-run second inning. It was the first time the shortstop went deep in back-to-back games, and he also collected his 10th multi-hit game of July after recording 13 in his first 81 games.
The second-year player is hitting .413 (19 of 46) in 11 games since moving into the leadoff spot July 7.
“He shows every day why he belongs up here and why the Nationals think so highly of him,” teammate Dominic Smith said while holding an Abrams bobblehead. “It's fun. For you to hit a home run on your bobblehead night, it takes a special person to do that.”
Gray (7-8) settled in after walking three of the Giants’ first five batters, scattering four hits and striking out four over seven innings to match his longest career outing. The All-Star yielded J.D. Davis’ sacrifice fly in the third, which began a run of retiring 13 of the last 15 hitters he faced.
“I definitely showed myself a lot today after the first two innings, where I’m scattering the ball around a little bit, to get two double plays, get some big strikeouts to start off some innings, to get some popouts that are just as good as strikeouts,” Gray said. “Just to limit hard contact for the majority of the game is huge.”
Gray's outing came a night after rookie Jake Irvin worked a career-high 6 2/3 innings for the Nationals in a 5-3 victory.
“Awesome,” manager Dave Martinez said. "These guys are learning how to get ahead of hitters, stay ahead of hitters and put people out. It's good to see those two young guys do what they did."
The Nationals scored their first two runs when Smith and Corey Dickerson delivered RBI singles. Both came around on Alex Call’s double to make it 4-0, and Call scored on Abrams’ homer.
Webb (8-8) allowed six runs and struck out two over 1 1/3 innings, his shortest outing in 98 career starts. He pitched at least five innings in each of his 20 prior starts this season.
“They don't really swing and miss often and they did a good job in doing that,” Webb said. “They just kind of got me after that. It was one of those days where the balls were finding holes and then they did some damage.”
Giants: Activated RHP Luke Jackson (back) from the 15-day injured list and designated RHP Mauricio Llovera for assignment. Llovera was 1-0 with a 1.69 ERA in five games.
Washington signed LSU OF Dylan Crews, the No. 2 selection in this year’s draft. Crews took batting practice before Saturday's game, and general manager Mike Rizzo said Crews will likely report to the team's facility in West Palm Beach, Florida, to become acclimated to the organization.
“He'll probably head to one of the A-ball clubs soon thereafter,” Rizzo said. “It'll all be driven by where he's at and how rusty he is from the season. I don't think it should take very long to get in the swing of things.”
Giants: LHP Scott Alexander (6-0, 3.04 ERA) will open for San Francisco in Sunday's series finale.
Nationals: LHP MacKenzie Gore (5-7, 4.59) seeks his first home victory since April 2. Gore is 0-4 with a 5.06 ERA in his last seven starts at Nationals Park.
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