WASHINGTON -- In what had been a marathon 24 hours for the Giants and Nationals, which included long rain delays, Washington losing its MVP candidate to the disabled list and a three-game series played in the span of about a day at Nationals Park, Howie Kendrick capped off the nightcap
WASHINGTON -- In what had been a marathon 24 hours for the Giants and Nationals, which included long rain delays, Washington losing its MVP candidate to the disabled list and a three-game series played in the span of about a day at Nationals Park, Howie Kendrick capped off the nightcap of Sunday's split doubleheader against the Giants with a walk-off grand slam in the 11th inning to give the Nationals a 6-2 victory to cap off this series.
"Long day," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. "It would have really been long had we lost a doubleheader, but boy, that was a great ending."
Grand slams mean 40% off pizza
Earlier in the day, Washington learned that Bryce Harper was going to the disabled list with a bruised left knee and then dropped the first game of Sunday's doubleheader, 4-2.
The rally in the 11th inning began with consecutive singles from Daniel Murphy and Ryan Zimmerman -- both of whom homered earlier in the game -- followed by an intentional walk to Anthony Rendon that brought Kendrick to the plate against Giants left-hander Albert Suarez. This was Kendrick's first career grand slam.
"It was pretty cool, I'm not going to lie," Kendrick said. "When I hit it, I just thought it was just going to go into the gap and I was just running hard, excited because I knew we were going to win the game. To actually have it go out of the park, to me that was probably one of the best moments of my career."
Both teams received strong outings from their starters. Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer threw seven innings of two-run ball with 10 strikeouts, his 13th double digit strikeout game of the year.
The Giants' Matt Moore matched him with one of his best starts of the year. Moore allowed two runs in seven innings to lower MLB's highest ERA of 5.88 down to 5.71 along with nine strikeouts.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Panda power: Sandoval hit his first homer since returning to the Giants, a towering solo homer off the facade of the third deck in right field. The ball traveled 423 feet and was hit at 109.8 mph, his second hardest hit home run since Statcast™ began tracking in '15, and hardest since April 27, 2015.
"It was a huge home run, too," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He got all of it, too. He crushed it. We're down a run there, so we needed somebody to lift us and he took a nice swing there."
Nats thwart Giants' threat: With the game knotted at 2 in the top of the ninth inning, the Nats narrowly escaped what could have been the game-clinching rally by the Giants. With one out and Joe Panik at third base following a wild pitch and a fly out, Sean Doolittle intentionally walked Buster Posey to set up a double play. The go-ahead run was 90 feet away, but the Nats' new closer buckled down by retiring the next two batters to keep the game tied.
Giants: After a dizzying schedule in D.C., the Giants will travel to Miami to face the Marlins in a three-game set that begins Monday night at 4:10 p.m. PT. San Francisco will send lefty Ty Blach (8-7, 4.15 ERA) to square off against the Marlins' Adam Conley (4-5, 5.43 ERA).
Nationals: After three games in 24 hours, the Nationals have an off-day Monday before they host the Angels for a two-game series at Nationals Park beginning Tuesday at 7:05 p.m ET. Left-hander Giovany Gonzalez will take the mound; he faced the Angels in Anaheim on July 19 and surrendered four runs in 5 2/3 innings.
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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.
Daniel Shiferaw is a contributor to MLB.com based in Washington and covered the Giants on Sunday.