Heading into Tuesday night, Gio Gonzalez had gone nine starts without a victory. Early run support allowed Gonzalez (4-3) to pick up his fourth victory and first since May 5th. While the bullpen made the game interesting at the end, Rafael Soriano(S,20) got Martin Prado to ground out to short to end the game and return the Nationals to .500.
While Gio’s stuff wasn’t as crisp as it has been the last two months, he battled through a tough Arizona lineup and picked up the victory. Pitching on six days rest, he worked his way around ten baserunners to put up six and a third innings of two run ball. Gio’s 2013 season continues be very strange as he wins when he pitches average and gets a no decision whenever he pitches excellently. After Gonzalez departed in the seventh inning, Drew Storen gave up a run to make it 6-3. Tyler Clippardgave up a homerun to Martin Prado in the eighth, but Rafael Soriano walked the tightrope in the ninth for his 20th save. Gio’s outing lowered his season ERA to 3.31 and his June ERA to 2.00. For Arizona, MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt and second baseman Aaron Hill both had multi-hit games to make the game tight.
While Gio certainly pitched well, the real story of tonights game was the breakthrough of the Washington offense. The offense got off to an early start against Arizona right hander Trevor Cahill(3-9) Denard Span got it started in the third with an RBI single, and after a Jayson Werth RBI base hit, Adam LaRoche launched a ball into the Arizona bullpen for a three run bomb and a 5-0 lead. Ian Desmond made it 6-0 with a fifth inning sac fly, and Steve Lombardozzi later scored on an eighth inning error by Brad Ziegler.
The Nats look for the series victory on Wednesday night behind right hander Jordan Zimmermann(10-3). Zimmermann has had a Cy Young worthy season thus far and he looks to continue his success against Arizona lefty Wade Miley(4-6). After nearly winning the 2012 NL ROY (Bryce Harper eventually won) Miley has taken a step back this season with a 4.60 ERA. First Pitch is at 7:05.