Gonzalez and Kobernus contribute to P-Nats’ clinching victory

Left-hander Gio Gonzalez made another firm step forward toward returning to the Nationals rotation with his second rehab start at high Single-A Potomac on Thursday night before 4,176 at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Va.

Gonzalez twirled 79 pitches over four innings, striking out seven, allowing one run on two hits with four walks in a 3-2 victory over Winston-Salem. He induced four groundouts and faced 18 batters.

Gonzalez has been on the disabled list with left shoulder inflammation since May 18. With no setbacks, and it appears there were none Thursday, he is on track to pitch June 17 against the Houston Astros at Nationals Park.

Designated hitter Jeff Kobernus, rehabbing a left hand fracture and currently on the 60-day disabled list, went 0-for-3 but scored the go-ahead run and had a walk and two stolen bases. He scored the run after stealing third base, the throw went into left field and he came home on the error. It was Kobernus’ third rehab appearance for the P-Nats.

With the win, the P-Nats clinched their second consecutive first-half Northern Division title in the Carolina League.

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