Gio Gonzalez, the pride of Hialeah, Florida, returned to Miami tonight and helped the Washington Nationals even things up in what ended up a 12-3 win over the Marlins in the second game of the Nats’ three-game set Marlins Park.
Gonzalez went seven innings on 101 pitches, holding the Fish to three runs on six hits to extend his personal unbeaten streak to eight-straight starts going back to May 8th.
Though they had just five hits through seven innings, the Nationals made them count, with four in a four-run fifth that saw Brian Goodwin drive in a run with an RBI single to center and Ryan Zimmerman and Stephen Drew make the Marlins pay for intentional walks in front of them with a two-out, two-run double, and RBI single, respectively, that put the Nats up 6-1 after four and a half.
Daniel Murphy homered in the top of the eighth to give the Nationals a 7-3 lead after a two-run home run by Marcell Ozuna got the Marlins within four.
Murphy, Zimmerman, Stephen Drew, and Matt Wieters drove in runs in the ninth as the Nationals blew it open. 12-3 final.
With the win, the Nats set up a rubber match in tomorrow’s 12:10 PM finale in Miami.
Nationals now 43-28
HERE’S HOW IT HAPPENED:
• Hialeah, Florida’s own Gio Gonzalez hit the first batter he faced (Dee Gordon), and walked the second (Giancarlo Stanton), but stranded both runners at the end of a scoreless first.
• Michael A. Taylor broke a streak of 62 plate appearances without a walk in the first at bat of the third, but Gio Gonzalez failed to get a bunt down as he tried to move Taylor over. Taylor moved himself up, stealing second with Trea Turner at the plate, his sixth stolen base, and Turner walked too. A double steal put two runners in scoring position with one out.
Brian Goodwin went down swinging, but Bryce Harper drove both runners in (after sending a bunt attempt foul) with a two-out, two-run line drive to center, 2-0.
• Harper’s RBI single gave him a 13-game hit streak: 17 for 51 (.333 AVG), 3 2B, 3 HRs, 10 RBIs during streak.
• Marcell Ozuna singled to start the Marlins’ fourth and scored from first on an RBI double to left by J.T. Realmuto to cut the Nationals’ lead in half, 2-1. Ozuna ignored third base coach Fredi Gonzalez’s stop sign and scored with ease when Trea Turner appeared to see the stop sign and hesitated on the throw in.
• Michael A. Taylor was 1 for 1 with a walk after he doubled to left to start the top of the fifth, but Gio Gonzalez bunted one too hard back to the mound in a second failed attempt to move a runner up on the night, and Trea Turner sent a fly to center for out No. 2.
Brian Goodwin stepped in next, and lined a two-out RBI single to center field on a 3-2 fastball from Volquez, 3-1 Nationals.
Ryan Zimmerman drove Goodwin and Bryce Harper in with a two-out line drive to left after the Fish put Harper on base with an intentional walk, 5-1 on the 20th double of the season for Zimmerman. Stephen Drew stepped in, after another intentional walk (to Daniel Murphy) and lined a 3-2 change to right field, driving Zimmerman in, 6-1, and ending Volquez’s night.
• Edinson Volquez’s Line: 4.2 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 5 BB, 4 Ks, 91 P, 54 S, 6/1 GO/FO.
• Christian Yelich kept the Marlins’ fifth alive with a two-out single and Marcell Ozuna followed with a two-run home run that cleared the Cleveland in left, 439 feet for a 2-run blast that made it 6-3 Nationals. Ozuna’s 19th.
• J.T. Realmuto hit his second double of the game to center on the first pitch from Gio Gonzalez in the sixth, but he was stranded at the end of an 11-pitch frame. An eight-pitch seventh ended Gonzalez’s outing after 101 pitches.
• Gio Gonzalez’s Line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 8 Ks, 1 HR, 101 P, 71 S, 6/1 GO/FO.
• Blake Treinen threw a quick, 10-pitch, 1-2-3 8th, and the Nationals added to their lead in the ninth with Zimmerman, Murphy, Drew and Wieters all driving in runs off of Brad Ziegler to make it 12-3 after eight and a half.
• Matt Albers finished the Marlins off with a scoreless ninth. Ballgame. 12-3 final in Miami.
NATIONALS PREGAME NOTES:
- Washington’s loss last night left them with a 105-118 record against Miami in the all-time series between the two teams.
- In today’s Nationals-themed “Fun with Arbitrary End Points” segment: The Nats are 49-31 against the Marlins... since 2013.
- Washington’s 24-14 record on the road after last night’s loss left them with the second-best road record in the NL, behind only the Colorado Rockies (25-13).
- Bryce Harper takes a 12-game hit streak into tonight’s game in Miami, over which he’s 16 for 50 (.320 AVG) with three doubles and three home runs.
- In a bonus Nats-themed “Fun with Arbitrary End Points” segment: Daniel Murphy is 33 for 8 (.400 AVG) with eight doubles, a triple, two home runs and 15 runs scored in 20 games... since May 29th.
- Washington’s offense started the night leading the NL in AVG (.275), OBP (.339), SLG (.475), home runs (108), extra-base hits (263), runs scored (385), and RBIs (377).
- Gio Gonzalez started the night (6-3) in 12 career starts against Miami with a 2.03 ERA in those games and a 0.55 ERA in his last three starts against the Fish.
- Edinson Volquez started the season (0-7) with a 4.82 ERA in his first nine starts, but he was (3-0) in his last four before tonight’s with a 1.73 ERA in 26 IP.
Nationals now 43-28