Gonzalez confounds Mets in blowout victory

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Updated: September 10, 2013

Flushing, NY (Sports Network) – With a season-high tying five home runs and
another masterful performance by Gio Gonzalez against the New York Mets, the
Washington Nationals earned a easy 9-0 win on Monday at Citi Field.

Backed by plenty of offense, Gonzalez (10-6) effortlessly carried a no-hitter
into the seventh inning before Zach Lutz broke up the bid on the first pitch
he saw at the start of the frame.

He bounced one towards first, just past the diving reach of Adam LaRoche, and
it clipped the chalk for a fair ball and gave New York its only hit.

The Nationals left-hander went on to throw a complete game and struck out
eight with two walks to win his third straight start and fifth consecutive
over New York.

“All three pitches were right where I wanted them to be,” said Gonzalez. “My
arm felt great. It was the first I’ve felt like that in a long time.”

Denard Span pushed his hit streak to 20 games, going 3-for-5 and beginning a
barrage of Washington home runs. Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth, Tyler Moore and
Wilson Ramos also went deep in the Nats’ fifth win in six games.

Carlos Torres (3-4) gave up four of the homers, tagged for six runs in all
over four innings.

Span ripped a screaming liner over the wall in right to start the game,
and Zimmerman followed with a blast of his own immediately after to quickly
put the Nationals ahead 2-0.

Torres then failed to keep Werth in the park two innings later. After Span
singled and Zimmerman walked, Werth demolished a first-pitch offering deep
into the stands in left center to create a five-run cushion.

The lead for Washington was six thanks to Moore’s homer to begin the fourth.
Mets manager Terry Collins had seen enough and sent Greg Burke out to start
the fifth, but the change didn’t help. The submarine hurler walked a pair with
two out before serving up a three-run blast to Ramos, making it 9-0.

Gonzalez had retired 17 straight after walking Daniel Murphy in the first, and
was nine outs from history after whiffing Eric Young for his seventh
strikeout.

Lutz would deny him with his a single to begin the seventh, but Gonzalez went
on to finish a dominating 110-pitch effort by setting down nine of the final
10 batters he faced.

“Fortunately, we put a ball in play where no one was at so we go home at least
knowing we didn’t get no-hit,” said Collins.

Game Notes

It was Gonzalez’s second career shutout … Werth and Moore both had two hits
… In Washington’s last visit to Citi Field on June 30, it clubbed the Mets
by a 13-2 count … Lutz worked a walk in the ninth inning … The Mets
placed pitcher Scott Rice and first baseman Ike Davis on the 60-day
disabled list prior to the game. They also selected the contract of pitcher
Aaron Harang and catcher Juan Centeno from Las Vegas and recalled outfielder
Mike Baxter from the Triple-A affiliate.