WASHINGTON -- The Nationals and Giants found themselves in a pitchers' duel on Sunday afternoon at Nationals Park. When it was over, the Nationals won a squeaker, 1-0, thanks to an opposite-field home run by Wilson Ramos.
Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner (10-7) was dominating the Nationals for most of the game. Entering the seventh inning, he allowed just one hit. He allowed his second and last hit in the seventh when Ramos hit an 0-1 pitch over the right-field wall. It was Ramos' 18th home run, a career high.
"I was trying to stay relaxed," Ramos said. "I knew Bumgarner was throwing a big game, and he had been up until that point. I was trying to sit on one particular pitch. I was fortunate enough to get that pitch in the zone. I initially didn't think it was going out of the ballpark. ... Luckily, it did and gave us the lead. It ended up winning the game for us."
Right-hander Tanner Roark (12-6) showed once again that he is a workhorse, pitching seven innings and striking out five batters. No one in the Major Leagues has thrown seven or more shutout innings more often this season than Roark, who has now done it seven times.
"He pitched out of trouble all day, and the Giants left nine men on base, but he made the pitches when he had to," manager Dusty Baker said. "He is not amazing us any more. We've come to expect it."
Shawn Kelley and Mark Melancon blanked the Giants the rest of the way, with Melancon getting his first save as a member of the Nationals.
By winning the season series, 4-3, the Nationals will have home-field advantage if the two teams face each other in the postseason.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Nice catch, Ben: In the seventh inning, the Giants had runners on second and third with two outs. Brandon Belt hit a ball that went over the head of center fielder Ben Revere, who made a nice over-the-shoulder catch that ended the threat.
"Ben saved the game because, boy, that was a Willie Mays catch right there," Baker said. "That was big. He wasn't hitting much, but he made a play like that to save the game."
Revere said he didn't know he had the ball until it went in his glove.
"It brought memories back to my football days," Revere said. "... That got the team pumped up." More >
Wasted chances: The Giants couldn't simply attribute this loss to Revere's catch. Less than 24 hours after going 5-for-14 with runners in scoring position, they squandered opportunities as quickly as they created them. They came up empty after their first two hitters reached base in the third inning -- Denard Span could not get a bunt down -- and after mounting a two-on, two-out threat in the fifth.
But the fruitless rally that disturbed the Giants most occurred in the fourth, when Buster Posey hit a leadoff double and Joe Panik singled with two outs. Third-base coach Roberto Kelly held Posey, which prompted some second-guessing -- especially since the next hitter, Gregor Blanco, was in a 4-for-32 skid.
"It's Roberto's read there," Bochy said. "Obviously it would have been nice if we could have scored on that ball. If you lose 1-0, you can look back on a lot of little things from that game."
Said Kelly, "If I could do it again, I probably would have sent him with two outs."
Werth's streak: With a walk in the first inning, Jayson Werth has reached base safely in a career-high 38 games. It extends the longest streak in Major League Baseball this season. It's also the second-longest streak in Nationals history behind Ryan Zimmerman's 43-game streak from April 8 to May 25, 2009. During his streak, Werth is hitting .248 (33-for-133) with three home runs and a .379 on-base percentage. More >
Marvelous Madison: Despite absorbing the defeat, Bumgarner could not be denied the stamp of excellence. He recorded his 14th career complete game and his fifth that resulted in a loss. It also was his fourth complete game of the season.
"He did all he could to win that game for us," Bochy said of Bumgarner, who singled in the third inning. More >
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Ramos' 18 home runs are the most among MLB catchers. Entering the game, he was tied with Astros catcher Evan Gattis with 17 homers.
WHAT'S NEXT Giants: San Francisco will begin the final leg of its three-city trip Monday with a 4:10 p.m. PT encounter at Miami. The Giants will rely on right-hander Johnny Cueto, whose first-half magic has worn off somewhat. The Giants have lost three of his four starts since the All-Star break after winning 16 of his first 18 outings.
Nationals: The Nationals have the day off on Monday, but they return to Nationals Park on Tuesday to begin a two-game series against the Indians at 7:05 p.m. ET. Right-hander Max Scherzer will pitch the first game. He is 9-4 in 19 career starts against the Indians, but he hasn't faced them since switching leagues and joining the Nationals before the 2015 season.