Gio, Nationals Look to Get Back On Track Against Cubs


Jun 18, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez (47) throws during the first inning against the Houston Astros at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

After snapping their five-game win streak with a tough loss to the Cubs on Friday, the Nationals look to get back to their winning ways Saturday afternoon at Nationals Park. Gio Gonzalez will make his fourth start for the Nationals since coming off the disabled list as he looks to continue his recent stretch of dominance.

Gonzalez (5-4, 3.93 ERA) hasn’t given up an earned run in his last 13 innings of work and has struck out 12 batters over that time. The left-hander dominated the Cubs in his last start, throwing seven shutout innings while allowing just two hits and striking out seven batters.

"“From the last start to this start, it’s just building confidence and velocity,” Gonzalez told “[Last Saturday], it was good to see some high numbers in the velocity — and it shows that it’s just building strength. Obviously, coming from the DL and trying to work your way back, it’s going to be a process.”"

The Cubs will counter with right-hander Carlos Villanueva who gets the start in place of Jeff Samardzija, whom the Cubs traded to the Athletics in a blockbuster deal Friday.

Prior to Saturday’s game, the Nationals are a game and a half behind the Braves in the National League East with a record of 46-39.

Here are the lineups for today’s game:

Chicago Cubs vs Washington Nationals, 4:05 P.M. ET

Chicago Cubs Lineup
  1. CF: Junior Lake
  2. RF: Justin Ruggiano
  3. 1B: Anthony Rizzo
  4. SS: Starlin Castro
  5. C: Welington Castillo
  6. 3B: Mike Olt
  7. LF: Chris Coghlan
  8. 2B: Darwin Barney
  9. SP: Carlos Villanueva

Washington Nationals Lineup

  1. CF: Denard Span
  2. 2B: Anthony Rendon
  3. RF: Jayson Werth
  4. 1B: Adam LaRoche
  5. 3B: Ryan Zimmerman
  6. LF: Bryce Harper
  7. SS: Ian Desmond
  8. C: Wilson Ramos
  9. SP: Gio Gonzalez