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Washington Nationals shut out again, 3-0 New York Mets in series opener in Citi Field

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Davey Martinez’s Washington Nationals were shut out for the 13th time this season (and the second game in a row), losing 3-0 to the New York Mets in Citi Field.

Washington Nationals v New York Mets Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

After getting shut out by the Philadelphia Phillies in the series finale in Nationals Park on Thursday afternoon, the Washington Nationals came up empty against New York’s Mets with lefty Jason Vargas tossing six scoreless in the first of three in Citi Field to earn a win over Gio Gonzalez (who gave up one run in seven innings) and the Nats, 3-0 final.

GIO vs NYM: In four starts this month, Gio Gonzalez was (1-3) with an 8.84 ERA and a rough .369/.427/.631 line against in 19 13 IP. His last time out before tonight, the left-hander was knocked around, giving up 10 hits, four walks, and eight earned runs in 4 23 IP against the Miami Marlins.

Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez told reporters after that outing that the team had to stay positive with the lefty.

“He works diligently,” Martinez said. “I really just want him to stop focusing so much on mechanics and just get ahead and throw quality strikes. That’s what he needs to do.”

Would a return to Citi Field, where he was (11-1) in 16 career starts with a 1.78 ERA and a .179/.256/.268 line against in 101 IP help him turn things around?

Gonzalez fell behind early when Amed Rosario singled, stole second, took third on a ground ball out, and scored on an RBI single by Wilmer Flores in the first, 1-0. He kept the Nationals’ NL East rivals there through seven, working through some foot pain after he took a liner off the laces in the Mets sixth, but received no support while he was on the mound.

Gio Gonzalez’s Line: 7.0 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 Ks, 103 P, 61 S, 4/6 GO/FO.

Vargas vs the Nationals: Mets’ lefty Jason Vargas snapped a seven-start winless streak last time out with a 5 13-inning outing against the Philadelphia Phillies in which he gave up six hits and two earned runs, earning the win in what ended up an 8-2 game in NY’s favor.

Over the stretch of winless outings, Vargas had a 7.71 ERA and a .330/.400/.587 line against in 28 innings.

He had the Nationals flummoxed through five tonight, striking out 8 of 18 batters on 82 pitches as he worked around three hits to keep the Nats off the board.

Vargas retired the side in order in a nine-pitch sixth, getting through six for just the second time this season, with the eight strikeouts a season-high

Jason Vargas’s Line: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 Ks, 91 P, 57 S, 3/3 GO/FO.

BULLPEN ACTION: Seth Lugo took over for New York after Vargas tossed six scoreless, and retired the side in order in an 11-pitch frame.

Lugo came back out for the top of the eighth, and retired the Nationals in order to preserve the 1-0 lead.

Koda Glover got the first two outs of the Mets’ eighth (after a leadoff walks) before Davey Martinez went to Tim Collins vs Jay Bruce, lefty vs lefty. Jeff McNeil, who walked, stole a base off Collins, and scored on a two-run blast to right-center by Bruce, 3-0.

Robert Gsellman gave up a one-out double to right by Anthony Rendon, which snapped a streak of 13-straight batters set down by Mets’ pitchers, but he struck Bryce Harper out on a fastball up high and got a groundout from Ryan Zimmerman to end it.

Ballgame.

Final Score: 3-0 Mets

Nationals now 64-65