Gonzalez shines as Nats blank Marlins
Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - Gio Gonzalez teamed up with four Washington relievers on a four-hit shutout as the Nationals opened a three- game series with the Miami Marlins by posting a 5-0 victory.
Gonzalez (2-0) yielded just three singles and a pair of walks while striking out five over six innings, with Jerry Blevins, Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard and Aaron Barrett combining for three scoreless frames to finish off the win.
Anthony Rendon led Washington at the plate with two hits and three RBI, while Adam LaRoche went 3-for-3 with a RBI and two runs scored.
"These guys are swinging the bat and having some fun," Gonzalez said of the offense.
Henderson Alvarez (0-2) was saddled with the loss after being reached for three runs -- one earned -- over 5 2/3 innings.
"These guys have some good pitchers but we got to find a way to score some runs," Miami manager Mike Redmond said.
Alvarez was victimized by both a lack of offensive support and a costly error by Marlins second baseman Jeff Baker in the sixth inning, with the miscue leading to a pair of runs that helped Washington pull away.
Bryce Harper and Adam LaRoche both singled off the Miami starter with Washington clinging to a 1-0 edge, putting runners at the corners with two outs in the frame. Baker then couldn't hold onto to Jarrod Saltalamacchia's throw to second as LaRoche attempted to advance on a pitch in the dirt, with Harper alertly racing home on the play.
Rendon followed with a sharp single to center that brought in LaRoche for a 3-0 advantage.
Gonzalez was able to work his way out of trouble early, stranding four baserunners over his first three innings to protect a 1-0 lead. The left- hander was dominant thereafter, completing his strong stint by setting down the last 10 Marlins he faced.
LaRoche gave Washington a quick upper hand with a two-out single in the bottom of the first that plated Jayson Werth, who kept the inning alive by doubling off Alvarez.
Rendon put the game out of reach with a two-run double off Mike Dunn in the eighth that scored Werth and LaRoche, who had reached via a walk and single, respectively.
Gonzalez went 3-0 with a 0.95 ERA in three starts against the Marlins last season, all of which took place at Nationals Park ... Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmermann did not start for a second straight game due to right shoulder inflammation ... Rendon has hit safely in all seven Washington games this season and has eight RBI over that stretch ... The Marlins entered the matchup with a 4-0 record against left-handed starting pitchers ... Miami right fielder Giancarlo Stanton had a seven-game streak with at least one RBI halted.
04/09 01:24:27 ET