The Washington Nationals are undefeated.
Despite a rocky first start for the Nats by Gio Gonzalez, the Nationals put up a 5 run eighth inning, ignited by a solo home run by Danny Espinosa, to defeat the Cubs 7-4. Gonzalez, in his first as a National, pitched just 3.2 innings allowing 7 hits, 3 walks, and 4 runs. Gonzalez did tally 6 strikeouts.
Adam LaRoche made up for a bad opening day that resulted in stranding five runners, by going 4 for 5 with a 4th inning, two run home run to give the Nats a brief 2 run lead. The Cubs jumped on Gonzalez in the top of the 4th inning to take a 4-2 lead. It would, stay that way until the Nats offense exploded in the 8th inning.
Espinoza lit the powder keg with a solo shot, his first of the year. after Ryan Zimmerman and LaRoche signaled, Jayson Werth walked to load the bases. Pinch hitter Chad Tracy came through for the second consecutive game, singling in Zimmerman and LaRoche to give the Nats a 5-4 lead. In 3 at bats, Tracy is 2-3 with 3 RBI off the Nats bench. Roger Bernadina kept the explosion alive, singling in Werth. Steve Lombardozzi batted in the final run, with an infield single and impressive effort.
After getting 4.1 scoreless innings from Craig Stammen, Ryan Mattheus, and Tyler Clippard, Henry Rodriguez closed out the Cubs in the 9th inning to earn his first save. Rodriguez whiffed three of the four batters he faced.
The Nationals are 2-0 and send Jordan Zimmermann to the mound to complete the three game opening series with the Cubs. Cubs will send Jeff Samardzija to the mound.