TAMPA, Fla. - Gio Gonzalez threw 32 pitches in a lengthy first inning, allowing two hits, a walk and a run.
Since then, he’s looked much more like the Gio Gonzalez that we’ve seen early in spring.
Gonzalez retired all six Yankees he faced since that rocky first, throwing a total of 25 pitches, 18 for strikes.
The Nationals lefty has five strikeouts through his three innings of work, four of which have been of the swinging variety.
Bryce Harper, meanwhile, has gone 0-for-2 so far, striking out swinging on four pitches in his first at-bat (his third strikeout in the last two games), and grounding out to second in his second time to the plate.
Harper’s first AB came against Yankees starter CC Sabathia, who made quick work of the 19-year-old phenom, getting ahead in the count 0-2, wasting a slider away and then getting Harper to wave at something offspeed.
The Nats’ No. 1 prospect won’t see many arms like that down at Triple-A Syracuse.
Steve Lombardozzi has put together a solid afternoon, making two sharp plays at third base - a position at which he doesn’t normally see time - and smacking a solo home run to left off Sabathia. Lombardozzi is 2-for-2.
The Nats now have a 3-1 lead entering the bottom of the fourth.
Update: Gonzalez has been pulled with one out and two on here in the fourth. Both runners reached via the walk.
The lefty’s final line: 3 1/3 innings, one run, two hits, three walks and six strikeouts. Gonzalez threw 69 pitches with 39 strikes.
Craig Stammen struck out Francisco Cervelli and Bill Hall to end the fourth inning, stranding both Yankee runners.