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Giants power past Nats on Mac's clutch mash

San Francisco secures series victory with 3rd straight win
MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

SAN FRANCISCO -- Mac Williamson isn't indestructible. But he gained an aura of invincibility during the Giants' 4-3 victory Tuesday night over the Washington Nationals when he collided with one wall and cleared another with a go-ahead home run.

The Giants and their fans stopped anticipating power in recent years. San Francisco finished 28th in the Major Leagues in home runs in 2016 and 29th last year. But with Williamson accelerating the Giants' resurgence in slugging that started this year by hitters such as Brandon Belt, who contributed a two-run homer Tuesday, San Francisco just might make the long ball an integral part of its offensive repertoire once again.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Mac Williamson isn't indestructible. But he gained an aura of invincibility during the Giants' 4-3 victory Tuesday night over the Washington Nationals when he collided with one wall and cleared another with a go-ahead home run.

The Giants and their fans stopped anticipating power in recent years. San Francisco finished 28th in the Major Leagues in home runs in 2016 and 29th last year. But with Williamson accelerating the Giants' resurgence in slugging that started this year by hitters such as Brandon Belt, who contributed a two-run homer Tuesday, San Francisco just might make the long ball an integral part of its offensive repertoire once again.

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Video: WSH@SF: Belt crushes a two-run jack to right field

Facing Nationals starter Tanner Roark, who entered the game with a 6-0 career record against the Giants, Williamson batted with two outs in the sixth and clobbered his third homer in five games since being recalled from Triple-A Sacramento. This clout wasn't as eye-popping as Monday's, when Williamson planted a 464-foot drive into the right-center-field seats -- an area right-handed batters such as him rarely reach. Nevertheless, Williamson's latest homer traveled a projected 423 feet to dead center field, according to Statcast™, slicing through breezes and potential crosswinds.

"I think you're looking at a guy with plus-plus power," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "When he gets the barrel on it and it's in the air, it doesn't matter what park you're in. It's a credit to how strong this man is."

Earlier, Williamson avoided serious injury when he crashed into the barrier adjacent to the Giants' bullpen as he pursued Bryce Harper's fifth-inning fly ball. Williamson sprinted into foul territory, but missed the catch and stumbled on one of the bullpen mounds, tumbling into the wall. After a brief examination, Williamson remained in the game.

Video: WSH@SF: Williamson crashes into wall in foul ground

Williamson explained that he rolled his head and neck as he plummeted. "I think that helped break my fall," he said. "I got pretty lucky. I'm frustrated that I didn't make the play."

Frustration has deserted the Giants, at least temporarily. They're 4-1 since Williamson's promotion, a surge for which he takes only partial credit. "It feels good to be a part of the team," he said.

It indeed was a team-oriented victory. The Giants not only turned two double plays, but three-time Gold Glove Award-winning shortstop Brandon Crawford threw out Pedro Severino as he tried to advance from second to third base in the fifth inning.

Video: WSH@SF: Crawford throws Severino out at third

Shaking off a weekend bout with food poisoning, left-hander Ty Blach allowed all of Washington's runs but kept the score close. He ended his five-inning stint by retiring Harper on a groundout with runners on first and second. In came Reyes Moronta, the rookie right-hander, who earned his first Major League victory with two shutout innings. "He's got no fear," Bochy said of Moronta, who has 14 strikeouts in 14 innings.

SOUND SMART
The Giants still aren't hitting well with runners in scoring position. They're batting .171 (27-for-158) in those situations.

"That's what the long ball does for you," Bochy said. "That's why power is so important in this game."

UP NEXT
The Giants, who are 4-4 in day games, will try to tip the scales in their favor when they confront Washington in Wednesday's series finale at AT&T Park. Jeff Samardzija will start against Nationals ace Max Scherzer, with first pitch set for 12:45 p.m. PT. Samardzija pitched five scoreless innings in his season debut on Friday against the Angels.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

San Francisco Giants