LaRoche gives Nats early advantage against Fish (Nats win 5-0)

The Nationals plated a run in the bottom of the first. Jayson Werth hit a two-out double against Marlins starter Henderson Alvarez. Adam LaRoche brought Werth in with a run-scoring single, but was tagged out in a rundown between first and second to end the inning.

It’s 1-0 after one inning.

Lefty Gio Gonzalez is starting for the Nationals. He’s dominated the Fish on South Capitol Street, going 3-0 with an 0.95 ERA in three home starts against Miami last year.

Update: Gonzalez was able to keep the Marlins off the board in the first four innings. He allowed two hits in the third, but was helped when Adeiny Hechavarria was caught stealing after a single to begin the frame. Gonzalez managed to strike out three consecutive batters, bridging the last out in the third with a strikeout of Casey McGehee looking, followed by two swinging strikeouts of Garrett Jones and Jarrod Saltalamacchia to start the fourth.

The Nationals lead 1-0 after four innings.

Update II: The Nationals added some insurance in the sixth off of Alvarez. Bryce Harper had a big base hit with one out. His swing looked effortless, swatting the ball on a line drive to left field, and it might be a harbinger of good things to come for the struggling left fielder.

LaRoche singled later in the inning. Harper scored on a fielding error by Marlins second baseman Jeff Baker to make it 2-0. Ian Desmond walked, with LaRoche taking third on a wild pitch on ball four. Anthony Rendon then followed with a clean single to left-center scoring LaRoche and the Nats led 3-0. That chased Alvarez from the game.

Gonzalez went six innings, allowing only three hits, no runs, two walks and striking out five. He threw 101 pitches, 60 for strikes, doing a nice job of keeping the Nats in the game until the offense got rolling in the sixth.

Update III: LaRoche continued his great night, getting another single and scoring a run in the eighth. He is 3-for-3 with two runs, an RBI and a walk. Rendon smacked a two-run double that rolled to the gap in left-center field, scoring Werth and LaRoche to give the Nationals a 5-0 advantage. Rendon has two hits and three RBIs.

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