Chicago at Washington

W: G. Gonzalez (6-4) L: C. Villanueva (4-6)
HR: CHC - None   WAS - None

Nationals 13, Cubs 0 wire reports

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Nationals posted football-like numbers in routing the Chicago Cubs on Saturday with Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III watching from the stands.

The way Gio Gonzalez is pitching, it was much more than they needed.

Gonzalez pitched eight sparkling innings and Ryan Zimmerman tied a career high with four hits and drove in three runs as the Nationals roughed up the Chicago Cubs without recently traded Jeff Samardzija for a 13-0 victory.

"Today he didn't have the velocity he did in Chicago, but nevertheless when you can throw your breaking stuff for strikes then it makes your fastball look better," manager Matt Williams said after Gonzalez defeated Chicago for the second Saturday in a row.

"He's relied on [his curveball and changeup]. If he gets in a jam he can throw either one of those, can use either one as a strikeout pitch," Williams added.

Jayson Werth and Anthony Rendon added three hits and two RBI apiece for the Nationals on a day the Cubs were forced to start Carlos Villanueva (4-6) following the trade of Samardzija, the scheduled starter, and Jason Hammel to the Oakland Athletics.

"Somebody told me that earlier," Rendon said of the change. "I didn't even know who we were facing to begin with. I just show up."

Washington netted a season high in runs and hits (19), including eight doubles but no home runs.

"[The trade] had nothing to do with any of the things that happened today we spit out a bad ballgame," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said before the question could be asked.

He added he doesn't think it will be an issue going forward.

"I don't. You had two things happen," Renteria said. "You had Gio who threw really well. So he stifles out offense pretty much and so that combined with us giving up a lot of runs it kind of looks like, `Wow -- you know -- what's going on?' It's just baseball."

Gonzalez (6-4) allowed four hits, while striking out seven and walked one. He was lifted after throwing 109 pitches.

He's now thrown 29 consecutive scoreless innings against Chicago and 22 overall.

After spending a month on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation, Gonzalez is 3-0 in four starts since his return.

Villanueva was pulled after the first four Nationals reached base in the third inning. He was charged with four runs on five hits.

Chris Rusin, called up Saturday from Triple-A Iowa, was roughed up for five runs on nine hits over 3 2/3 innings.

Justin Ruggiano had two hits for Chicago, which had won four straight.

Williams flipped left-hander Bryce Harper and right-hander Rendon in the batting order, putting Rendon back in the 2-hole and Harper sixth against righty Villanueva.

"Bryce is a little tick off [his timing]," Williams said before the game.

Harper (1 for 3 with a walk Saturday) is 4 for 18 since returning from the disabled list.

After Scott Hairston hit for Denard Span in the seventh, Hairston went to left field and Harper shifted to center.

Harper helped build the game's first run Saturday. After Zimmerman singled leading off the second, Harper bunted him to second base and Zimmerman scored on Desmond's single.

Washington sent 10-men to the plate in the third as they broke the game open and chased Villanueva. It was his fifth start of the season in 23 appearances.

Span started the inning off with a single, and Rendon, Werth, Zimmerman, Ian Desmond and Wilson Ramos had RBI hits. Adam LaRoche scored on Rusin's wild pitch.

"After that it's just go out there and attack the strike zone," Gonzalez said. "Just try to stay consistent in the strike zone."

When Gonzalez singled in the seventh, every Washington starter had hit safely.


Washington's Danny Espinosa pinch hit in the eighth, his first at-bat since June 28. ... Rusin, 27, was 6-10 with 3.96 ERA in 16 starts at Iowa. ... Renteria said the team will add another reliever Sunday. ... In the seventh inning, Frandsen came on to play third base for Washington, with Zimmerman shifting to first. ... Desmond leads MLB shortstops with 53 RBIs. ... Griffin sported a No. 10 Nationals jersey with his name on the back and visited the locker room after the game. ... Chicago's RH Jake Arrieta (5-1, 1.81) opposes RH Jordan Zimmerman (6-4, 2.95) in Sunday's series finale.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
Players of the Game

A. Rendon
AB 4
R 3
H 3
HR 0

G. Gonzalez
IP 8.0
H 4
ER 0
BB 1
K 7

Related Video

Chicago (N.L.) Cubs
Junior Lake, CF4000010 .224
Justin Ruggiano, RF4020000 .279
Anthony Rizzo, 1B3000021 .274
   Justin Grimm, P0000000 .000
   Ryan Sweeney, LF1000000 .212
Starlin Castro, SS3010101 .290
Welington Castillo, C3010001 .238
Mike Olt, 3B-1B3000022 .147
Chris Coghlan, LF3010000 .222
   Wesley Wright, P0000000 .000
Darwin Barney, 2B3000012 .217
Carlos Villanueva, P1000010 .000
   Chris Rusin, P1000000 .000
   Luis Valbuena, 3B1000000 .261
CS - Starlin Castro (2, 2nd base by G. Gonzalez/Ramos)
Team LOB - 4
DP - Castro-Rizzo
Chicago (N.L.) Cubs
Carlos Villanueva (L,4-6) 2544120 6.42
Chris Rusin 3.2955140 6.23
Justin Grimm 1544130 4.97
Wesley Wright 1.1000020 2.22
WP - Carlos Villanueva (3), Chris Rusin (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Villanueva 58-35, Chris Rusin 73-47, Justin Grimm 43-27, Wesley Wright 13-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carlos Villanueva 2-2, Chris Rusin 5-2, Wesley Wright 1-1
Batters Faced - Carlos Villanueva 12, Chris Rusin 21, Justin Grimm 9, Wesley Wright 4
Washington Nationals
Denard Span, CF4110011 .265
   a-Scott Hairston, PH-LF2000012 .286
Anthony Rendon, 2B4332110 .286
Jayson Werth, RF4232011 .282
   b-Nate McLouth, PH-RF1000012 .194
Adam LaRoche, 1B4111002 .296
   Kevin Frandsen, 3B1111000 .242
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B-1B5243000 .272
Bryce Harper, LF-CF3010111 .277
Ian Desmond, SS4122125 .239
Wilson Ramos, C5121032 .280
Gio Gonzalez, P3110001 .130
   c-Danny Espinosa, PH1000000 .216
   Craig Stammen, P0000000 .250
a-struck out for Span in the 7th
b-struck out for Werth in the 7th
c-flied out for G. Gonzalez in the 8th
2B - Anthony Rendon 3 (21, Villanueva), Jayson Werth 2 (19, Villanueva), Ryan Zimmerman 2 (15, Rusin), Wilson Ramos (8, Grimm)
SH - Bryce Harper (1), Gio Gonzalez (2)
RBI - Anthony Rendon 2 (50), Jayson Werth 2 (43), Adam LaRoche (45), Kevin Frandsen (9), Ryan Zimmerman 3 (24), Ian Desmond 2 (53), Wilson Ramos (15)
2-OUT RBI - Jayson Werth (17), Adam LaRoche (10), Kevin Frandsen (3), Ryan Zimmerman 2 (9)
SB - Anthony Rendon (8, 2nd base off Villanueva/Castillo)
Team LOB - 9
DP - Rendon-Zimmerman
Washington Nationals
Gio Gonzalez (W,6-4) 8400170 3.52
Craig Stammen 1100000 2.68
Pitches-Strikes - Gio Gonzalez 109-76, Craig Stammen 7-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Gio Gonzalez 10-6
Batters Faced - Gio Gonzalez 28, Craig Stammen 3
Game Information
Attendance - 38473
Game Time - 3:10
Temperature - 84
Umpires - Home - Will Little, First Base - Mike Everitt, Second Base - Paul Schrieber, Third Base - Ted Barrett