The Washington Nationals found themselves on the winning side of 5-0 game against the Miami Marlins Tuesday night thanks to a solid outing from left-handed starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez and impressive offensive efforts from first baseman Adam LaRoche and third baseman Anthony Rendon.
Gonzalez threw 101 pitches, 61 strikes, over six innings and gave up three hits while walking two batters and striking out five to secure his second win of the season.
Washington scored early, taking a one-run lead in the first inning when LaRoche drove outfielder Jayson Werth home with two-out. Manager Matt Williams’ line-up failed to score again until the sixth inning, but that’s when things got interesting.
Outfielder Bryce Harper snapped his hitless streak, finally tacking on his fourth hit of the young season, with a single off right-handed pitcher Henderson Alvarez with one out. Then, with two out, LaRoche hit a single to centerfield allowing Harper to advance to third on a missed catch error by second baseman Jeff Baker helped usher Harper home.
LaRoche followed shortly after thanks to a walk drawn by shortstop Ian Desmond and the wild pitch that moved him to third base. With two out, Rendon hit a line-drive single to centerfield for an RBI sending LaRoche around and giving the Nats a 3-0 lead in the sixth inning.
Combined, LaRoche and Rendon tallied five hits including four singles and an insurance double from Rendon in the eighth inning. Rendon hit a sharp fly ball to left field sending around outfielder Jayson Werth and LaRoche to make it the 5-0 game they went on to win.
Coach Matt LeCroy’s bullpen also continues to do fine work. Right handers Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard, and Aaron Barrett as well as left-hander Jerry Blevins threw three innings and gave up one hit and two walks while striking out two batters.