|Washington (34-23) «||0||1||0||3||0||0||0||0||0||4||5||3|
BOSTON -- The Washington Nationals have quite a one-two punch in their starting rotation.
Gonzalez held Boston to two hits and no runs before leaving with two runners on in the seventh.
"We're talking about two guys that are such talented guys, they have great stuff," said Nationals catcher Jesus Flores, who caught both games.
"It's hard to adjust. They throw hard and they have good breaking ball pitches. You've got to be a good hitter, just to go out there and look for a good pitch to drive. Stras and Gio are pretty much wearing them down when they're in a good spot."
One night earlier, Strasburg held Boston to two runs over six innings, striking out 13.
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"It's no picnic facing Zimmermann or any of our starters," manager Davey Johnson said. "That's been our strength all year, holding the opposition down."
Matsuzaka (0-1), making his first major-league start since undergoing Tommy John surgery last June 10, gave up four runs and five hits over five innings, striking out eight and walking one.
"I definitely think I pitched better than I had during my rehab," Matsuzaka said through a translator. "The biggest difference today was the consistency of my velocity and the command of all my pitches."
The Red Sox have lost five of six, dropped below .500 (29-30) and are 1-4 on a six-game homestand that concludes Sunday.
Gonzalez, May's NL pitcher of the month, allowed two runs, struck out five, walked two and was helped by a pair of solid defensive plays by third baseman Ryan Zimmerman and one by second baseman Danny Espinosa.
"I felt like the team did a great job, the defensive was unbelievable, the offense came alive and the bullpen shut it down for me," Gonzalez said. "My arm slot was just going down a little bit and I couldn't find the zone after that."
Gonzalez was 5-0 with a 2.25 ERA in May.
Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine felt it was a decent first start for Matsuzaka.
"If we can build on that -- eight strikeouts in five innings -- that's pretty good,"
Jarrod Saltalamacchia had a pinch-hit, bases-loaded two-run double off reliever Michael Gonzalez in the seventh, cutting it to 4-2, but Gonzalez got the next two batters with runners on first and third.
Tyler Clippard got the final three outs for his seventh save, and second in two days.
Leading 1-0 in the fourth, Washington added three runs off Matsuzaka. Morse hit his double after Bryce Harper walked and advanced on Zimmerman's hit-and-run single through a vacant shortstop hole. Desmond followed with his single to right.
The Nationals went ahead when LaRoche homered on the first pitch of the second.
Ortiz had a leadoff double in the second, advanced on a wild pitch when Gio Gonzalez crossed up catcher Flores and hit him in the midsection with a breaking pitch. Gonzalez then got Will Middlebrooks to ground out and Darnell McDonald on a fly out.
In the sixth, Espinosa made a leaping grab of Adrian Gonzalez's liner in short right. Zimmerman had a backhand stab of Middlebrooks' second-inning grounder.
|Gio Gonzalez pitches 6 1/3 effective innings for Washington, which takes the first two after coming in 0-9 at Fenway. (US Presswire)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Stephen Lombardozzi, LF||3||0||0||0||0||2||1||.282|
|a- Tyler Moore, PH-LF||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.208|
|Roger Bernadina, LF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.239|
|Bryce Harper, RF||3||1||0||0||1||2||1||.282|
|Ryan Zimmerman, 3B||4||1||1||0||0||1||0||.250|
|Adam LaRoche, 1B||4||1||1||1||0||2||2||.263|
|Michael Morse, DH||4||1||1||1||0||2||0||.214|
|Ian Desmond, SS||3||0||1||2||0||0||0||.262|
|Danny Espinosa, 2B||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||.222|
|Rick Ankiel, CF||3||0||1||0||0||2||0||.226|
|Jesus Flores, C||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.250|
|a-struck out for Lombardozzi in the 8th|
|2B - Michael Morse (3, Matsuzaka), Rick Ankiel (9, Matsuzaka)|
|HR - Adam LaRoche (10, Matsuzaka)|
|RBI - Adam LaRoche (40), Michael Morse (2), Ian Desmond 2 (30)|
|Team LOB - 1|
|E - Gio Gonzalez (1, Throwing), Bryce Harper (4, Misplayed grounder), Adam LaRoche (4, Misplayed grounder)|
|Gio Gonzalez (W,8-2)||6.1||3||2||2||2||5||0||2.35|
|Mike Gonzalez (H,1)||0.2||1||0||0||0||1||0||0.00|
|Sean Burnett (H,10)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.95|
|Tyler Clippard (S,7)||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||2.39|
|WP - Gio Gonzalez (7)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Gio Gonzalez 98-60, Craig Stammen 6-2, Mike Gonzalez 10-6, Sean Burnett 12-7, Tyler Clippard 19-14|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Gio Gonzalez 11-4, Sean Burnett 2-1, Tyler Clippard 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Gio Gonzalez 25, Craig Stammen 1, Mike Gonzalez 3, Sean Burnett 3, Tyler Clippard 4|
|Boston Red Sox|
|Daniel Nava, LF||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.298|
|Dustin Pedroia, 2B||4||0||1||0||0||1||2||.277|
|Adrian Gonzalez, RF||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.270|
|David Ortiz, DH||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.300|
|Kevin Youkilis, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.231|
|Will Middlebrooks, 3B||3||1||0||0||1||1||2||.310|
|Mike Aviles, SS||4||1||1||0||0||0||2||.263|
|Darnell McDonald, CF||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||.188|
|a- Ryan Sweeney, PH-CF||1||0||1||0||1||0||0||.309|
|Kelly Shoppach, C||2||0||0||0||0||2||2||.268|
|b- Jarrod Saltalamacchia, PH-C||2||0||1||2||0||0||1||.273|
|a-walked for McDonald in the 7th|
|b-singled for Shoppach in the 7th|
|2B - David Ortiz (19, G. Gonzalez), Ryan Sweeney (17, Clippard)|
|RBI - Jarrod Saltalamacchia 2 (29)|
|SB - Mike Aviles (7, 2nd base off G. Gonzalez/Flores)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|Outfield Assists - Adrian Gonzalez 1|
|DP - Gonzalez-Pedroia-Youkilis|
|Boston Red Sox|
|Daisuke Matsuzaka (L,0-1)||5||5||4||4||1||8||1||7.20|
|Pitches-Strikes - Daisuke Matsuzaka 80-52, Franklin Morales 36-27, Alfredo Aceves 19-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Daisuke Matsuzaka 2-4, Franklin Morales 1-5, Alfredo Aceves 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Daisuke Matsuzaka 20, Franklin Morales 9, Alfredo Aceves 3|
|Attendance - 37534|
|Game Time - 2:53|
|Temperature - 78|
|Umpires - Home - Dana DeMuth, First Base - Al Porter, Second Base - Paul Nauert, Third Base - Doug Eddings|