Meyer cruising against former organization (Nats lose 7-0)

ANAHEIM, Calif. - Alex Meyer's career hasn't panned out as originally hoped, but the Nationals drafted the big right-hander in the first round back in 2011 for a reason. And Meyer is showing exactly why tonight - against his former club.

Meyer, now pitching for the Angels, has retired the first 12 batters he's faced, baffling one of the most potent lineups in baseball through four perfect innings so far.

Gonzalez-Throws-Gray-Sidebar.jpgThe Nationals have hit a few balls hard, and Daniel Murphy was robbed of a potential double when right fielder Shane Robinson made an impressive diving catch of his first-inning drive, but for the most part, Meyer has had his way tonight.

The 6-foot-9 right-hander, traded to the Twins in 2012 for Denard Span, has since joined the Angels. In 21 career big league appearances (18 starts) he's a disappointing 4-8 with a 4.99 ERA.

But Meyer has looked sharp tonight, showcasing both an upper 90s fastball and an off-speed arsenal that has baffled several Nationals batters, particularly during a stretch of four consecutive strikeouts.

The Nationals trail 2-0 after Gio Gonzalez labored through his first inning of the evening. The left-hander allowed the game's first three batters to reach (two singles and a walk) and allowed two of those to score. He has settled down since then, but his teammates have provided zero offensive support to this point.

Update: The good news: Meyer's no-hit bid is over. After Anthony Rendon (drafted 17 spots ahead of Meyer in 2011) broke up the perfect game with a two-out walk in the fifth, Brian Goodwin (drafted 11 spots behind Meyer in 2011) broke up the no-hitter with a two-out double in the sixth.

The bad news: The Nats are still getting shut out by their former prospect. Meyer has cruised through six innings on 73 pitches, allowing only those two baserunners. Gonzalez has pitched well himself since that shaky first inning, but it's going for naught so far, with the Nationals still trailing 2-0 in the sixth.

Update II: Gonzalez was very good from the second through the fifth innings, but he labored again in the sixth. After a leadoff walk, he left a changeup right over the heart of the plate to C.J. Cron, who hammered it 461 feet to left field. That made it 4-0 Angels, and soon after Gonzalez's night was over.

Update III: It's a rout now. Joe Blanton replaced Gonzalez and got lit up in the bottom of the seventh, with Mike Trout's monster two-run homer putting a nail in the coffin. The Nats are down 7-0, and Meyer's brilliant night is done after seven innings of one-hit ball. The Angels will turn to their bullpen to finish this one off.

Update IV: That'll do it. The Nationals lost 7-0. They were shut out for only the second time this season, and they were held to one hit for only the fifth time in club history, the first time since 2013. They split this brief interleague series and now head to Arizona for a day off and then a three-game weekend series with the contending Diamondbacks.

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