The National League Pitcher of the Month for May couldn’t get the job done in his first start of June.
Gio Gonzalez wasn’t able to get out of the fifth inning today, getting pulled after allowing a two-run single to Jason Heyward with two outs in the fifth.
Heyward’s knock put the Braves up 3-2 and forced manager Davey Johnson from the dugout. Craig Stammen came on and got the Nats out of a jam after walking catcher David Ross to load the bases.
Gonzalez’s day is done after 4 2/3 innings. He allowed three runs on seven hits with three walks, five strikeouts and two wild pitches.
The normally accurate lefty was anything but today, sending a pitch to the backstop and forcing catcher Jesus Flores to move all over the place behind the plate.
Gonzalez went 5-0 in five starts last month, but he won’t earn a victory today. He leaves with the Nats trailing in the middle innings.
Update: It’s still 3-2 Braves in the ninth after the Nats blew a golden opportunity an inning ago.
Steve Lombardozzi and Bryce Harper both worked walks to lead off the eighth, bringing Ryan Zimmerman to the plate with a chance to make it a monster inning. Instead, Zimmerman - whose average is now down to .233 - grounded into a 4-6-3 double play, crippling the frame.
Adam LaRoche then flew out to deep left to strand Lombardozzi at third.
The two rookies did their job setting the table, but the vets in the middle of the Nats’ order couldn’t get ‘em in, and Washington still trails with only three outs to go.
Update II: That’s the ballgame. The Nats drop their first game to the Braves this season, this one by a 3-2 score.
Washington’s Nos. 3-6 hitters (Zimmerman, LaRoche, Michael Morse and Ian Desmond) went 0-for-16 with five strikeouts. That’s not good.