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Washington at Milwaukee

Scoreboard
Washington (40-35) «003000000370
Milwaukee (47-31)000000000030

Gonzalez's pitching, LaRoche's HR help Nats cool off Brewers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MILWAUKEE -- Gio Gonzalez's changeup confused the Milwaukee Brewers.

The left-hander kept his off-speed pitch down in the strike zone. He missed some spots and got into a couple jams, but otherwise the Washington Nationals starter had what amounts to a banner day against one of top-hitting teams in the majors.

Gonzalez combined with three relievers to hold Milwaukee to three hits, and Adam LaRoche hit a three-run homer in Washington's 3-0 victory Monday night.

"It shocked everybody. I had never in my career [had] seen as many changeups as I see today," Brewers cleanup hitter Carlos Gomez said. "Make big pitches and they got outs today. Good for Washington."

Especially for Gonzalez (4-4), who walked four and struck out five in six innings. It was an encouraging outing in his second start following a monthlong stint on the disabled list for left shoulder inflammation.

"It's a huge accomplishment coming back, especially with a team like that," Gonzalez said. "I wanted to make a statement with the rotation and try to be a part of it."

Gonzalez outdueled Matt Garza (4-5), who struck out seven in seven innings but allowed LaRoche's home run to straightaway center in the third. Tyler Clippard struck out the side in the ninth for his first save.

Clippard opened the ninth by getting Gomez swinging. He finished 0 for 4, snapping a 35-game streak of reaching base and a career-best 18-game hitting streak.

Gomez contemplated dropping a bunt in the ninth to save his streaks with the infield playing back.

Not his style in that situation, though.

"You know, I'm going to defend [the streaks] like a man. Just be me and enjoy the game. I had the opportunity to drop a bunt but I wasn't going to do it," the upbeat Gomez said. "The last at-bat made me feel better for tomorrow."

Could have used bright spot on Monday, too. But he flied out to left with two outs and the bases loaded to end the third, the Brewers' best chance to break through at the plate.

"It gave [the Nationals] some more life," Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez left after throwing a season-high 114 pitches, his night ending after getting Khris Davis to ground into a 6-4-3 double play following a walk to Aramis Ramirez with one out in the sixth.

Gonzalez flashed a wide smile and got a hug from a coach in the dugout following a satisfying performance. Clippard closed the game after regular stopper Rafael Soriano had worked the previous three nights.

Garza, the Brewers' big offseason acquisition, got a confidence boost after escaping a bases-loaded jam with no outs in the second without giving up a run. But he couldn't get out of the third unscathed after walking Anthony Rendon and allowing a single to No. 3 hitter Jayson Werth to bring up LaRoche.

That's trouble in Miller Park, where LaRoche has homered in three consecutive games dating to last season. On Monday, he hit a full-count slider off the black wall beyond the fence in center field 400 feet from the plate.

"In that spot, you're really just trying to hit something hard and hit something in the air. It just happened to go out of the park," LaRoche said. "It was one of the few mistakes he made."

Garza pounced off the mound as LaRoche rounded the bases, angrily swinging his glove down into his right hand.

Notes

Nationals manager Matt Williams was ejected after an argument with home plate umpire Mark Wegner after the top of the second. Espinosa was called out on strikes in that inning on a fastball from Garza along the outside corner. ... Nationals OF Bryce Harper (left thumb) began a rehab stint Monday at Class A Potomac, where he started in left field and played three innings, as planned. Harper finished 1 for 1 with a single, walk and run scored. C Wilson Ramos, also rehabbing at Potomac from a strained right hamstring, went 3 for 4 with a three-run homer. ... Brewers RF Ryan Braun started and went 1 for 4 a day after a minor left ankle sprain Sunday during a 6-5 victory at Colorado. Manager Ron Roenicke said closer Francisco Rodriguez was fine after he hurt his left ankle in the same game. ... Washington's Jordan Zimmerman (5-4) opposes Milwaukee's Yovani Gallardo (5-4) on Tuesday night.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Anthony Rendon and Jayson Werth greet Adam LaRoche after they all score on LaRoche's home run in the third inning.  (USATSI)
Anthony Rendon and Jayson Werth greet Adam LaRoche after they all score on LaRoche's home run in the third inning. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Washington

A. LaRoche
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Washington

G. Gonzalez
IP 6.0
H 3
ER 0
BB 4
K 5
 
Washington Nationals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Denard Span, CF4000010 .270
Anthony Rendon, 3B3100100 .272
Jayson Werth, RF4130000 .278
Adam LaRoche, 1B3123101 .310
Ryan Zimmerman, LF3000101 .239
Ian Desmond, SS4020010 .235
Danny Espinosa, 2B4000034 .230
Jose Lobaton, C4000024 .224
Gio Gonzalez, P2000013 .111
   a-Greg Dobbs, PH1000000 .175
   Aaron Barrett, P0000000 .000
   Drew Storen, P0000000 .000
   b-Scott Hairston, PH1000001 .345
   Tyler Clippard, P0000000 .000
Totals3337338  
a-grounded out for G. Gonzalez in the 7th
b-flied out for Storen in the 9th
Batting
HR - Adam LaRoche (9, Garza)
RBI - Adam LaRoche 3 (39)
SB - Ian Desmond (6, 2nd base off Gorzelanny/Lucroy)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Desmond-Espinosa-LaRoche
Washington Nationals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Gio Gonzalez (W,4-4) 6300450 4.38
Aaron Barrett (H,4) 1000020 1.75
Drew Storen (H,10) 1000000 1.11
Tyler Clippard (S,1) 1000030 2.12
WP - Gio Gonzalez (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Gio Gonzalez 114-68, Aaron Barrett 14-11, Drew Storen 9-6, Tyler Clippard 22-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Gio Gonzalez 7-5, Drew Storen 3-0
Batters Faced - Gio Gonzalez 24, Aaron Barrett 3, Drew Storen 3, Tyler Clippard 3
Milwaukee Brewers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Rickie Weeks, 2B3000110 .265
Ryan Braun, RF4010022 .278
Jonathan Lucroy, C3010101 .331
Carlos Gomez, CF4000014 .312
Aramis Ramirez, 3B3000120 .292
Khris Davis, LF4000011 .256
Mark Reynolds, 1B2000120 .212
Jean Segura, SS3010011 .246
Matt Garza, P1000000 .061
   a-Elian Herrera, PH1000000 .227
   Mike Fiers, P0000000 .000
   Tom Gorzelanny, P0000000 .000
Totals28030410  
a-flied out for Garza in the 7th
Batting
2B - Ryan Braun (15, G. Gonzalez)
SH - Matt Garza (4)
SB - Mark Reynolds (5, 2nd base off G. Gonzalez/Lobaton), Jean Segura (14, 3rd base off G. Gonzalez/Lobaton)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Segura-Weeks-Reynolds
Milwaukee Brewers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Matt Garza (L,4-5) 7533271 4.01
Mike Fiers 1100100 0.00
Tom Gorzelanny 1100010 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Garza 104-69, Mike Fiers 22-10, Tom Gorzelanny 20-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Garza 9-5, Mike Fiers 1-1
Batters Faced - Matt Garza 28, Mike Fiers 4, Tom Gorzelanny 4
Game Information
Attendance - 31102
Game Time - 3:11
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Mark Wegner, First Base - Andy Fletcher, Second Base - Chris Segal, Third Base - Mike Winters