Gio Gonzalez gave up an opposite field single by New York Mets' outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis in the top of the first inning this afternoon in Viera, Florida's Space Coast Stadium where the Washington Nationals beat their NL East division rivals by a score of 11-5.
Gonzalez, 28, held left-handed hitters to a .204/.244/.323 line in 2013.
Nieuwenhuis was 0 for 8 in nine plate appearances vs LHPs last season, and the 26-year-old outfielder, an '08 3rd Round pick by the Mets, has a .159/.266/.203 line in 82 career PAs over his two major league seasons.
Nieuwenhuis was stranded, however, and his hit was the only one Gonzalez allowed in two scoreless innings of work. Gonzalez came back out for the second and retired the Mets in order, bringing a quick end to his 2014 Grapefruit League debut.
Matt Purke, who landed at no.6 on MLB.com's list of the Nationals' Top 20 prospects when it was released today, struck Mets' infielder Anthony Seratelli out with an 0-2 change in on the hands after giving up a leadoff single by Taylor Teagarden in the top of the third inning. Juan Lagares hit a 1-2 pitch from Purke back up the middle, however, putting runners on the corner with one down against the Nats' 23-year-old, 2011 3rd Round pick. Nieuwenhuis fell behind 0-2 to Purke, got back to 2-2, but K'd looking at a fastball on the outside edge. Ryan Zimmerman jumped all over a weak grounder to third off Andrew Brown's bat, and his throw to first ended Purke's first inning of work.
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Wilson Ramos scored on a sac fly by Mike Fontenot in the Nats' second. Ian Desmond's second home run in two days put the Nationals up 2-0 in the third. Desmond took Mets' lefty Adam Kolarek out to right-center for an oppo-bomb that cleared the wall some 400+ feet from home in Space Coast Stadium.
Purke gave up a walk to Wilmer Flores and back-to-back one-out singles in the top of the fourth, one by first baseman Eric Campbell and the second hit by Mets' third baseman Zach Lutz, whose line drive to left brought Flores in to get the Mets on the board. 2-1 Nats. Anthony Seratelli's bloop single to right got over the infield and drove the other two runners in to make it 3-2 NY after three and a half.
Tyler Clippard gave up a leadoff double by Kirk Nieuwenhuis in the first at bat of the fifth, but the outfielder stayed put at second as the Nats' late-inning reliever retired the next three batters in order for a scoreless frame in his own Spring Training debut.
The Mets scored a run on Craig Stammen in the sixth with Taylor Teagarden hitting a sac fly to center one out after Eric Campbell hit a leadoff double off the Nats' right-hander. 4-2 Mets.
Brian Goodwin tied things up with one swing in the bottom of the seventh, driving Sandy Leon in with a two-run home run to right field off Mets' right-hander John Church.
Scott Hairston hustled around to second with a leadoff double in the Nationals' eighth. After a walk to Jose Lobaton, Tyler Moore came through with the go-ahead hit, singling to right to bring Hairston in from second and make it 5-4 in the Nationals' favor. Will Rhymes' RBI single in the next at bat made it a two-run lead and a three-run blast by Sandy Leon blew it open. 9-4 Nationals. A two-run home run by Matt Skole made it 11-4.
Zach Lutz hit a solo home run in the ninth, but it ended at 11-5 in the Nationals' favor.