Gonzalez strong on mound again as Nats edge AstrosApr 18, 2012 - 5:53 AM Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Gio Gonzalez was dominant again at Nationals Park.
After throwing seven innings of two-hit ball against the Reds in his last start on April 12, he duplicated that performance against the Astros in a 1-0 win for Washington. Gonzalez (1-0) threw seven shutout innings and gave up two hits while fanning eight in the second part of a four-game set.
Tyler Clippard turned away the Astros in the eighth and Brad Lidge worked through a shaky ninth to pick up his second save of the season.
"I was just going with (Nationals catcher Jesus) Flores," Gonzalez said. "Every pitch he put down, I was trying to attack with that."
Jayson Werth finished 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored and Adam LaRoche knocked in the only run for the Nationals, who have won seven of their last eight and improved to 9-3 on the young season.
Wandy Rodriguez (0-2) was the hard-luck loser, yielding five hits and no walks while fanning three.
Justin Maxwell, Jed Lowrie, Jordan Schafer and Jose Altuve each had a hit, but it wasn't enough to push across a run, as the Astros lost for the sixth time in seven tries.
Washington had a two-out rally in the fourth to plate the lone run. After Danny Espinosa struck out and Ryan Zimmerman grounded out, Werth lofted a fly ball out to left-center field that dropped in front of Maxwell and Werth parked himself at second base.
LaRoche followed with a line drive out to left that was again misread and Werth was able to score.
Altuve ripped a single up the middle to start the Houston sixth. He moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Rodriguez, and went to third when Gonzalez uncorked a wild pitch with two outs, but after walking Lowrie the Nats' young lefty recovered and got J.D. Martinez to ground into a fielder's choice to end the inning.
Houston left a man in scoring position in the eighth when Maxwell struck out, and the Astros threatened in the ninth. Lowrie hit a leadoff double down the right field line and Martinez walked to put the first two men on base. Lidge recovered by getting Carlos Lee to fly out, Chris Johnson to line out, and Travis Buck to ground one to first to end the game.
"It's hard, because I felt like I threw a good game," Rodriguez said. "It was just that kind of game, it was hard for me and for the team too."
It was Gonzalez's first career start against the Astros...Houston fell to 1-4 on the road this season...Werth extended his hitting streak to nine games...Washington cashed in with its only runner in scoring position, while the Astros went 0-for-6 with men in scoring position and left six on base.
- HOUSTON: 0
Apr 17 9:19 PM
- Adam LaRoche single to left scored Jayson Werth. Runner on first with two ous and Mark DeRosa due up.
Astros 0, Nationals 1 Bot 4, 2 OutsApr 17 7:58 PM
- HOUSTON: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
Apr 17 7:06 PM
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