WASHINGTON - Dane Dunning got the start and Gio Gonzalez helped finish things off for Chicago in a win on Wednesday at Pittsburgh.
Former members of the Nationals’ organization, Dunning and Gonzalez are now key members of the first-place White Sox in the American League Central and among former Washington prospects or players who appear headed for postseason play.
While the Nationals are a long shot to make the playoffs, several former members of the organization have found a home with the White Sox.
Dunning (2.70 ERA), part of the trade that landed Adam Eaton in Washington, pitched six scoreless innings in the 8-1 win over the Pirates.
Gonzalez, the veteran lefty, threw two scoreless innings and lowered his ERA to 4.73.
“Honestly, as long as the team wins, I’m happy,” Dunning, who got his first Major League win, told reporters. “I was just trying to do my job, get us to the second half of the game, and from there, let our bullpen and everybody else do everything. First one’s out of the way, I got a huge congratulations from the guys, and we had a little [beer] shower for me.”
The White Sox’ roster also includes other former Nationals: right-handed starter Lucas Giolito (3.29), who threw a no-hitter earlier this season; lefty Ross Detwiler (1.56), who broke in with the Nationals in 2007; and right-hander Reynaldo Lopez (8.38), also part of the Eaton deal – he was sent to the alternate site on Sept. 3.
Other former Nationals with teams in first place through games of Wednesday include:
Right-handed reliever Blake Treinen, who was 3-2 with 2.37 ERA in 19 games out of the bullpen for the Los Angles Dodgers.
Lefty pitcher Jesus Luzardo, who was 2-2, 3.97 in nine games with seven starts for the Oakland A’s. He was drafted by the Nationals in the third round in 2016 out of Stoneman Douglas High in Florida and then traded to the A’s during the 2017 deal as Washington acquired lefty reliever Sean Doolittle and right-hander Ryan Madson.
Right-hander Mark Melancon had eight saves for the Braves and a 2.45 ERA through Wednesday.
Weather permitting, Atlanta begins a series here Thursday against the Nats.
Tommy Milone, the lefty starter now with Atlanta, began the season with Baltimore before he was traded to the Braves. He was 1-4, 6.69 in nine starts this season.
Other former Nationals with a shot at the playoffs include:
Right-hander A.J. Cole, who is 2-0, 2.33 with one save in 19 outings from the bullpen for Toronto.
Lefty Robbie Ray, a former Washington minor leaguer who was recently traded to the Blue Jays by Arizona. He is 1-4, 7.51 this season.
Right-handed starter Tanner Roark, another Blue Jays’ pitcher, who is 2-1, 5.60 in eight starts this season.
“I’m what you would call a Diesel engine,” Roark told reporters Wednesday when he was pulled after four innings in a 7-2 loss to the Yankees in Buffalo.
“I start off slow, then get better as you go on throughout the game. Fourth inning, six or seven pitches, now I’ve got six days to sit on that, which doesn’t sit well with me, obviously.”
Former Washington catcher Sandy Leon was hitting .140 for Cleveland.
Bryce Harper, the outfielder for the Phillies, was hitting .261 with seven homers but batting just .143 with 13 strikeouts in his previous 15 games.
Craig Stammen has struggled in the Padres’ bullpen with a 7.31 ERA.
Brad Peacock has pitched in just two games for the Astros, with a 9.00 ERA.
Former Washington players who may be watching the playoffs from home include third baseman Anthony Rendon, who was hitting .288 and had driven in 24 runs in 37 games for the Angels as of Wednesday.
Catcher Wilson Ramos is hitting .220 for the Mets – just ahead of last-place Nationals in NL East.