Pitchers’ battle early between Nationals and Diamondbacks (Nats win 7-5)

Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez allowed a base hit in each of the first two frames against Arizona, but was able to pitch out of it.

In the first, it was a double for Willie Bloomquist, but then Gonzalez retired three straight.

It got more interesting in the second, with Martin Prado at second base and with two away, A.J. Pollock had a sharp single up the middle. Center fielder Denard Span gathered it up and fired to catcher Kurt Suzuki, who tagged out Prado at home plate to end the threat.

The Nationals managed only a walk by Jayson Werth versus Diamondbacks starter Trevor Cahill in the first two innings.

No score after two innings.

Update: In the bottom of the third, the Nationals scored first on their first base hit of the game. With Suzuki on second after a walk and sacrifice, Span laced a single to center that scored Suzuki. 1-0 Nationals.

Anthony Rendon and Jayson Werth followed with singles, and the Nationals added to their advantage, 2-0.

Adam LaRoche then deposited a Cahill offering into the Diamondbacks’ bullpen in left-center for his 11th homer of the year, a three-run shot that suddenly increased the Nats’ lead to 5-0 after three innings.

Update II: The Diamondbacks loaded the bases in the sixth, but Gonzalez induced a fielder’s choice groundout to Gerardo Parra to end the threat. After six innings, the Nationals lead 6-1.

Update III: The Nationals allowed two runs in the seventh, but Drew Storen was able to strike out Cody Ross with two men on to end the jam. Nationals still up, 6-3 through seven full.

But in the eighth, Martin Prado crushed a solo homer off of Tyler Clippard, trimming the Nationals’ lead to 6-4.

Update IV: Each team scored a run in the eighth. Clippard got three outs after allowing a solo shot in the eighth. Then, Rafael Soriano came on in the ninth and allowed one run, but earned his 20th save.

The Nationals snap a two-game skid with a 7-5 victory over Arizona. Gonzalez (4-3) notches his first win since May 5.

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