The Washington Nationals won their third straight game to improve to 5-2, defeating the Cincinnati Reds, 3-2.
The Nationals got another impressive appearance by starting pitching, this time it was new Nat Gio Gonzalez, making his second start as a National, his first in the Nation's Capitol. And was it ever a good one!
After not completing 4 innings in his Nats debut, in his DC debut, Gonzalez was as sharp and dominating as he can be. Gonzalez tossed 7 shutout innings, retiring 21 of 24 batters he faced. Gio allowed just 2 hits and issued zero walks, while sitting down 7 Reds on strikes. He threw a total of 97 pitches, 64 of which were for strikes. A truly dominating performance by Gio.
The Nationals got 2 runs in the 5th inning, which was ignited by Gio himself. Gonzalez ripped a single to left, followed up by an Ian Desmond single to center, and a Danny Espinosa walk to load the bases. After Ryan Zimmerman grounded into a fielders choice, Adam LaRoche delivered a 2 run single to center field, scoring Desmond and Espinosa. The two run single gave LaRoche his 7th and 8th runs batted in this season.
Tyler Clippard relieved Gonzalez in the 8th inning and allowed 1 hit, zero runs, and recorded two more bullpen strikeouts. In 4 bullpen innings, Clip has record 4 strikeouts. Brad Lidge pitched the 9th inning and got into trouble after recording an early out. After walking Joey Votto, Lidge allowed a double to Scott Rolen that moved Votto to third base. Lidge then intentionally walked Jay Bruce to load the bases. Ryan Ludwick singled into shallow center to score two runs and tie the game up at 2-2. It was Lidge's first blown save of the season and took the decision away from Gonzalez.
The Nats had promise, but no production in the bottom of the ninth inning. After a line out by Roger Bernadina, Wilson Ramos doubled to right field. Mark DeRosa followed the double with a walk. Desmond then singled to center field to load the bases, his third hit of the game. Despite a great opportunity to wrap it up, Espinosa grounded into an inning ending double play to force extra innings.
Craig Stammen pitched a picture perfect 10th inning, striking out all three batters he faced. The Nationals ended up winning the game in the bottom of the tenth inning after Zimmerman was hit by a pitch and Jayson Werth singled to center to put runners on second and third. Alfredo Simon then threw a wild pitch sco
- Apr 12, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez (47) walks to the dugout after pitching in the seventh inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-US PRESSWIRE