Fill-ins Casali, Ruf hit homers, Giants beat Nationals 5-3

Curt Casali hit a two-run homer while filling in for injured All-Star catcher Buster Posey, late lineup addition Darin Ruf added a go-ahead drive and the San Francisco Giants beat the Washington Nationals 5-3

SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals star Trea Turner turned to Curt Casali and asked the Giants catcher why Logan Webb had left the game so soon.

That’s how good the right-hander looked in his first start for San Francisco since late May — he just had to contend with a pitch count.

“It was nice to see,” Casali said. “We’ve been waiting a while to get Webby back.”

Casali hit a two-run homer while filling in again for injured All-Star catcher Buster Posey, late lineup addition Darin Ruf added a go-ahead drive and the Giants beat Washington 5-3 on Friday night.

Wilmer Flores also homered as the Giants debuted their all-white City Connect home uniforms with images of the Golden Gate Bridge along each sleeve.

“It was kind of fun to have a new look, it was kind of cool,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “The energy in the ballpark was fantastic and really liked the choice of music throughout the game. There was a lot of Bay Area hip hop that fit perfectly with the jerseys and the vibe and the energy in the building.”

Adding to the festive night, there were even mid-game fireworks outside in McCovey Cove that Kapler called “an incredible touch.”

Webb allowed one hit over three innings and struck out four in his first outing since May 29 after missing time with a strained right shoulder. He struck out four. The Giants hoped to get him through three innings.

“Knowing there was a pitch count and inning limit was more of the tough thing than anything else,” he said.

Posey is sidelined with a bruised thumb that will keep him out of the All-Star Game next week. Subbing in, Casali hit his third homer of the season for the NL West leaders.

Nationals catcher Yan Gomes exited with an oblique injury and Washington is now looking to bring someone in Saturday having lost seven of nine.

“We’re working on stuff right now,” manager Dave Martinez said. “We’ll see what we can do to get somebody here. I don’t know who it’s going to be yet. We’ll see what happens to Yan tomorrow. We’ve definitely got to get somebody on the way.”

Ruf had an RBI single in the first inning against Paolo Espino before connecting for his ninth homer off Sam Clay (0-3) in the fifth to make it 4-3.

Giants reliever José Álvarez, who came in for Webb in the fourth, was ejected by plate umpire David Rackley for arguing after being removed from the game.

Washington’s Tres Barrera hit a two-run triple in the fourth for his first career extra-base hit and RBIs.

Gerardo Parra hit a double later in the inning that made it 3-all. Center fielder Steven Duggar preserved the tie when he fielded Espino’s single and fired home to Casali, who tagged out Parra.

Slick-fielding Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford made a lunging stop on Barrera’s grounder in the sixth and used his glove to make a flip to second baseman Donovan Solano, who completed a double play.

“That was as good a web gem as I’ve seen,” Casali said.

Jarlin García (1-0) pitched the fifth for the win. Jake McGee, the seventh Giants reliever of the night, escaped trouble in the ninth to finish for his 18th save.

Starlin Castro had two hits and extended his hitting streak to 12 games for Washington.


Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg, sidelined since June 2 by a strained neck, pitched a simulated game Thursday and Martinez said: “It went well. We’ll see what’s next for him. He’s going to go through his routine today and tomorrow and we’ll come up with a plan for him.” … CF Victor Robles had a day off. … OF Andrew Stevenson (strained right oblique) homered in the first inning of a rehab game for Triple-A Rochester before the game was later suspended by rain.

Giants: C Posey was placed on the 10-day injured list (retroactive to July 6) with an injured left thumb. … 1B Brandon Belt took about 50 swings in the batting cage and fielded groundballs for the first time as he recovers from an inflamed right knee, which is protected by a brace as he does his workouts. He has twice had surgery on that knee. … LaMonte Wade Jr. was a late scratch at first base and Ruf replaced him. Wade tested his tender hand by hitting with increased intensity and the Giants opted to play it safe with him.


LHP Jon Lester (2-3, 5.34 ERA) pitches Saturday for the Nationals looking to win consecutive decisions for the first time his year. RHP Anthony DeSclafani (9-3, 2.84) seeks double-digit wins for the first time in his career.


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