Nationals open scoring on Desmond hit in second (Nats win 13-0)

The Chicago Cubs racked up 14 hits in the first game of the series.

Facing Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez on Saturday, they showed no signs of letting up.

On Friday, the Cubs generated five hits in the first two frames.

On Saturday, after Gonzalez pitched a 1-2-3 first inning, which included a pair of strikeouts, Chicago tallied three hits in the second frame.

Fortunately for the Nationals, Gonzalez was helped out with a great throw by Wilson Ramos to catch Starlin Castro on a steal attempt at second base.

Gonzalez was then able to get a popout and a strikeout wrapped around another single to get out of the jam.

Meanwhile, the Nationals offense connected on some good swings against right-hander Carlos Villanueva.

Ryan Zimmerman started the hitting with a base hit to begin the second inning. Bryce Harper then sacrifice bunted to first base, moving Zimmerman to second.

Ian Desmond then delivered an RBI single to left and the Nationals lead 1-0.

Update: The Nationals had little trouble seeing Villanueva’s stuff. In the third, Denard Span led off with a single. Anthony Rendon followed with a line-drive double over the head of left fielder Chris Coghlan, scoring Span from first and the Nationals led 2-0.

Jayson Werth followed with an equally well-hit double over Junior Lake’s outstretched glove, scoring Rendon, and the Nationals advantage got to 3-0.

The Cubs turned things over to reliever Chris Rusin, but the Nationals continued to tee off. Zimmerman connected for an RBI single and it was 4-0 Nationals.

After a wild pitch scored Adam LaRoche to make it 5-0 Nationals, Desmond smacked a single to score Zimmerman. That put the Nationals up 6-0.

Ramos then added a run-scoring single and it was 7-0. The Nationals ended up with six runs on six hits in the frame and lead 7-0 after three innings.

Update II: In the sixth, Rendon and Werth connected on back-to-back doubles for the second time in the game, Nationals lead 8-0.

LaRoche scored Werth on a single and the Nationals were up 9-0.

Zimmerman and Bryce Harper also added singles to load the bases. That ended Rusin’s day. Desmond struck out looking versus Justin Grimm to end the inning.

Update III: The Nationals added an RBI double by Rendon, an RBI single by LaRoche and a two-run double by Zimmerman in the seventh to make it 13-0.

The 13 runs and 19 hits are current season-highs for the Nationals. The Nationals have recorded a season-high eight doubles. Rendon’s three doubles are a season-high.

Update IV: Gonzalez is done after eight innings. He allowed four hits, no runs and struck out seven. Most important part of stat line: he had one walk. Gonzalez finished with 109 pitches, 76 for strikes.

The Nationals shut out the Cubs 13-0. The 13 runs and 19 hits were both season-highs. Gonzalez is now 6-4. Villanueva falls to 4-6.

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