Washington Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez completed a six-innings shutout during his side's’ 5-0 victory over the Miami Marlins last night.
Gonzalez, a left-handed starting pitcher, allowed just three hits all game as the Nationals continued their impressive start in the National League East division, 5-2.
Speaking to MLB.com, he said: “He competes every time he goes out there. In his last couple of starts he throws a lot of pitches but when he has to lock it in, he locks it in. He has been good.”
But Gonzalez heaped credit on catcher Jose Lobaton for helping him mix up his pitches against the Mariners.
Gonzalez added: “Jose has been doing his homework, making me throw all three of my pitches. The off-speed, going in and out, just mixing it up. It’s fun throwing to him.”
This was Washington’s first shutout of the season as they built on their good early season form. They face the Mariners two more times at home before traveling to the Atlanta Braves at the weekend.
The Nationals took the lead in the bottom of the first and never looked back with Gonzalez controlling the defence. Jayson Werth scored a double off two-outs from Henderson Alvarez and completed his score thanks to Adam LaRoche’s single to the left.
Anthony Rendon filled in for the injury Ryan Zimmerman at third base and was able to score the National’s fifth run in the eighth innings.
Mike Dunn pitched to Rendon who screwed the ball off the left-centre field wall to score a double whilst Werth and LaRoche got home safely.
Rendon also impressed in his defensive duties as third baseman. In the seventh innings, Reed Johnson attempted to bunt his way to first but Rendon was able to charge in and throw to get rid of the Mariners outfielder.
Rendon was excited about his new chance at third and told MLB.com he has some experience in the position.
“I did it a good amount of time in college. I guess I still have a little bit left,” Rendon explained.
Matt Williams was impressed by how Rendon performed as Zimmerman’s replacement. He said: “We don’t want Ryan [Zimmerman] down but if something like this happens and he has to be out a couple of days, we not only have Anthony but we have Danny [Espinosa] who can play defence up the middle.”
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