Aug 5, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals manager Matt Williams (9) pulls starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez (47) in the seventh inning against the New York Mets at Nationals Park. The Mets won 6-1. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Nationals Fall to Mets in Series Opener

The Nationals were unable to break through against Mets starter Zack Wheeler and the Mets bullpen as the team dropped the first game of a three-game series, 6-1.

Gio Gonzalez got the start for the Nationals as he looked to get past his recent struggles on the mound. Gonzalez was solid early on, allowing just two runs over the first six innings. But the left-hander got into trouble in the seventh inning, walking Chris Young and allowing a single to Ruben Tejada to put two men on base with no outs.

Manager Matt Williams brought in reliever Drew Storen to try to end the threat, but after a sacrifice bunt moved the runners into scoring position, Storen went on to hit Juan Legares with a pitch to load the bases with one out.  The Nationals almost got out of the inning when Daniel Murphy hit a potential double play ball up the middle, but the ball went under the glove of a sliding Asdrubal Cabrera for a two-run single, giving the Mets a 4-1 lead. The Mets scored another run later in the inning on an RBI single off the bat of Lucas Duda.

Two of the runs scored in the seventh were charged to Gonzalez, who has now given up nine earned runs in his last 8 2/3 innings of work and seen his ERA climb from 3.56 on July 26 to 4.01 after tonight’s game.

Unfortunately for the Nationals, the Mets’ offense wasn’t done as New York made it a 6-1 game on an RBI single by Kirk Nieuwenhuis in the top of the eight inning.

It was another frustrating day at the plate for the Nationals, as the team’s lone run came on a wild pitch from Wheeler in the bottom of the second inning that allowed Adam LaRoche to score from third base.

With tonight’s loss, the Nationals are now 60-51 on the season and lead the Braves by 2 1/2 games in the NL East, pending the result of Atlanta’s game against Seattle.

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