The Washington Nationals bounced back in the second game of the series against the Mets. Thanks to a strong start by Gio Gonzalez, they won in decisive fashion.
The Washington Nationals, after being shutout in last night’s contest against the New York Mets scored their first run of the series in the third inning.
Bartolo Colon retired the first two hitters in the third frame but issued back-to-back walks to Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper. Then, Daniel Murphy grinder out a long at-bat and singled home Werth on a ground ball past David Wright. The Nats did load the bases later in the inning, but were unable to push any more runs across.
The Mets didn’t get their first hit of the game until the bottom of the fourth inning, but it was a big one. Yoenis Cespedes crushed a hanging changeup by Gonzalez for a home run to left field, which tied the game at one apiece. It was Cespedes’ 13th home run of the season.
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The Nationals received some clutch hitting by Anthony Rendon in the fifth. He hit a two-out two-run single to left field with the bases loaded to give Washington a 3-1 lead. That hit chased Colon from the game. He lasted only 4.2 innings, gave up three runs on five hits and threw 107 pitches. He didn’t have much control, as indicated by him issuing five walks and hitting one batter.
It’s been quite some time since Colon had a rough outing such as this, per Marc Carig of Newsday.
Murphy drove in his second RBI of the game during the seventh inning with a sacrifice fly to deep center field that Juan Lagares made a great play on, but the lead was increased to 4-1. The Nats extended their lead 5-1, as Danny Espinosa picked up an RBI with a bases loaded walk against Logan Verrett.
The Mets loaded the bases during the bottom of the seventh with less than two outs, and this knocked Gonzalez out of the game. However, Felipe Rivero made quality pitches to quell the scoring threat by retiring Kevin Plawecki and Michael Conforto to end the inning.
As for Gonzalez, he had a quality outing for the Nationals. The left-hander went 6.1 innings, yielding one run on five hits, surrendering one walk and striking out five on 94 pitches (62 strikes) to pick up his third win of the year.
The Nats added some insurance runs in the ninth inning when Wilson Ramos singled in two runs with a base hit to right field. Sammy Solis finished things off for the Nats in the bottom of the ninth by giving up only one hit to end the game.
Next Game: In the finale of this three-game set, the Washington Nationals (24-16) will send Stephen Strasburg (6-0, 2.95 ERA) to the mound while the New York Mets (22-17) will counter with Matt Harvey (3-5, 4.93 ERA). You can watch it at 7:10 p.m. ET on MASN and MLB Network.