SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Nationals manager Dave Martinez was pleased with how pitcher Jake Irvin composed himself in his major league debut last week. Martinez was even more impressed with how the rookie handled himself in his first start on the road.
Irvin struck out five in 6 1/3 innings and earned his first career victory, leading Washington to 5-1 win over the San Francisco Giants on Monday night.
“He’s got really good poise,” Martinez said. “The best thing is, he’s around the zone, he’s throwing strikes. He’s out there and he’s got a lot of poise, doesn’t let (anything) rattle him and he just tries to attack the strike zone. He’s a student of the game. He wants to learn. He wants to get better.”
Making his second career start and first on the road, Irvin didn’t give up a run in a dominant outing for the Nationals, who are in last place in the NL East. The 26-year-old right-hander limited the Giants to four hits and was backed by a defense that turned double plays in three of the first four innings. He walked three and lowered his ERA to 0.84.
The outing was in contrast to Irvin’s MLB debut against the Chicago Cubs on May 3, when he hit a batter with his first pitch and got a no-decision after walking four in 4 1/3 innings.
“Definitely a different atmosphere,” Irvin said. “You know you don’t have the crowd behind you, but that’s kind of what the minor leagues is for. You kind of feel that on the way up and you learn a lot about that. Same thing, just keep making pitches.”
Luis García singled twice and had a multi-hit performance in his fourth consecutive game and CJ Abrams drove in two runs. Alex Call, the Nationals’ new everyday center fielder after Victor Robles was placed on the injured list earlier Monday, had an RBI double.
Joc Pederson homered for San Francisco, which lost its second straight after a four-game winning steak.
A day after scoring three runs in the ninth inning in a comeback win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Nationals got going early against Giants starter Anthony DeSclafani.
Washington jumped on DeSclafani with seven sharply hit singles on his first 18 pitches to quiet the crowd at Oracle Park. Joey Meneses and Dominic Smith had RBI singles, Call had a two-out RBI single and Abrams singled in a pair of runs to put Washington up 5-0 in the first.
“A pitcher that throws a lot of strikes in the zone, you try to be aggressive and take advantage of some of the pitches in the zone,” García said through a translator. “Today it worked out that we took advantage and were aggressive in the zone.”
Martinez said before the game that he plans to use Call as the team’s primary center fielder until Robles returns, although he left the door open to use other players there, too.
Carl Edwards Jr. retired five batters. Andres Machado allowed Pederson’s home run, but got the final three outs to complete the six-hitter.
DeSclafani (3-2), who has been one of San Francisco’s best pitchers so far this season, allowed 10 hits and five runs in seven innings.
The Giants didn’t have many highlights, but left fielder Mitch Haniger provided one with a diving catch near the foul line to rob Jeimer Candelario of a hit in the seventh.
Nationals: Robles was placed on the 10-day IL with back spasms. … INF Jake Alu was called up from Triple-A Rochester in a corresponding move. Giants: SS Brandon Crawford did some sprinting and took infield as he works his way back from an calf injury. “The main thing we want (is) him to come back when he feels confident,” manager Gabe Kapler said, adding that he doesn’t think the three-time All-Star will need a rehab assignment. … LHP Alex Wood (hamstring) is nearing a return from the IL. … OF Bryce Johnson was reinstated from the IL and optioned to Triple-A Sacramento.
Nationals LHP Patrick Corbin (1-4, 5.17 ERA) pitches Tuesday. Corbin is 9-9 in his career against San Francisco, but is winless in his last four starts overall. The Giants counter with RHP Logan Webb (2-5, 3.80), who is 2-0 lifetime against Washington. ---
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