- Associated Press - Sunday, July 31, 2016

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Gio Gonzalez’s latest quality start wasn’t enough for the Washington Nationals.

Gonzalez got his fourth quality start in five games, but Matt Cain threw five hitless innings for his 100th career victory and the San Francisco Giants held Washington to three hits in a 3-1 win Sunday.

Gonzalez (6-9) allowed two runs (one earned), six hits and two walks in six innings.

“He’s throwing strikes, not walking people and getting out of jams when he gets in them,” Nationals manager Dusty Baker said.

“Gio should have fared better than that. His last two starts have been outstanding. We didn’t give him much support.”

The Nationals gave him no support early on.

Cain (3-6) struck out five and walked four on 93 pitches. He handed off to George Kontos, who allowed a leadoff single to Bryce Harper in the sixth. Anthony Rendon doubled in Harper two batters later.

The Nationals committed two errors, and the winning run scored on Rendon’s throwing error in the fifth.

“They’ve been good all year long,” Gonzalez said. “It’s a situation you turn the page and move forward. Just a couple bumps on the road.

“These guys are the best infield the league, the outfield, too. There are a lot of Gold Gloves out there.”

Santiago Casilla pitched the ninth inning for his 24th save. Casilla was among five Giants relievers who combined to allow one run on three hits over four innings.

NL West-leading San Francisco has won two straight since losing 11 of 13 following the All-Star break.

Cain became the sixth Giants pitcher to reach 100 wins since the franchise came to San Francisco in 1958. Juan Marichal (238), Gaylord Perry (134), Tim Lincecum (108), Kirk Rueter (105) and Mike McCormick (104) are the others.

“That hit me after the game was over,” Cain said.” I didn’t think it was going to be that big of a deal but for it to take three years it feels good, it definitely feels good.

“Especially with the way it worked out today, we got to use everybody to be a part of it. It was definitely a win that we all needed very much.”

The Giants won despite troubles hitting with runners in scoring position that have dogged them throughout the second half.

They were 1 for 15 with runners in scoring position Sunday and are batting .139 (19 for 137) in that department since the All-Star break.

They were hitless in their first 11 at-bats with runners in scoring position Sunday until Angel Pagan singled in Denard Span from third with one out in the bottom of the seventh to give San Francisco a 3-1 lead.

Left fielder Mac Williamson left with an injury in the sixth. He dropped Chris Heisey’s flyball on the play but fired to third baseman Conor Gillaspie to force out Rendon. Williamson is day-to-day with a jammed shoulder, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.


After getting hit in the arm by a 94-mph Casilla fastball leading off the ninth, Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman didn’t take kindly to the resounding boos he got from Giants fans, implying that he was trying to sell home plate umpire Jim Joyce on the call. Bochy challenged the call, but it was upheld.

“I was fired up when I got hit. That’s not something I normally do,” Zimmerman said. “The one thing I never do is fake something like that. I have too much respect for the game.”


Nationals: 2B Daniel Murphy was out of the lineup for a second straight day. He missed Saturday’s game with left leg tightness.


Nationals: Washington begins a series at the Arizona Diamondbacks with RHP Stephen Strasburg (14-1, 2.68) on the hill. Strasburg was 4-1 with a 2.08 ERA in July, his best month this season.

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