Miguel Gonzalez outdueling Gio Gonzalez early (Nats lose 3-1)

CHICAGO - Gio Gonzalez has been perfect since struggling in the first inning. But Miguel Gonzalez has been perfect from the moment he took the mound tonight, leaving the Nationals in trouble early in their series finale against the White Sox.

The Nationals don't have a baserunner in four innings against Miguel Gonzalez, the former Orioles right-hander given an opportunity to start for the White Sox tonight after left-hander Carlos Rodon was scratched with neck and shoulder stiffness.

Gonzalez-Frustrated-Red-Sidebar.jpgThere have been a couple of hard-hit balls so far, most notably Daniel Murphy's line out to center field in the top of the second, but not much else for the Nationals, who are seeking a series sweep and have scored 10 or more runs in each of their last three games.

Manager Dusty Baker is fielding a lineup without regulars Ben Revere and Wilson Ramos, and with Jayson Werth serving as designated hitter, wanting to give some guys a breather before a late-night flight home, a Friday night game in D.C. against the Phillies and then an early 12:05 p.m. game Saturday before the organization's annual charity gala.

Baker was hoping this altered lineup could continue the recent outburst of offense, while also hoping Gio Gonzalez could reverse course after a pair of shaky starts prior to this one.

The left-hander, though, got into immediate trouble in the bottom of the first inning, walking Austin Jackson and Jose Abreu back-to-back. Both runners wound up scoring on Melky Cabrera's two-out double to left. And then Cabrera scored on Brett Lawrie's double to left, giving the White Sox a 3-0 lead.

To his credit, Gio Gonzalez has settled down completely since then. He has retired 10 straight batters, five via strikeout, to keep the deficit where it is until his teammates can find a way to produce something against his similarly named counterpart.

Update: The good news: The Nats broke up Miguel Gonzalez's perfect game when Daniel Murphy homered to lead off the top of the fifth. More good news: Gio Gonzalez has been excellent since his rough first inning. He's through the sixth now without allowing another run, only three hits, zero walks and nine strikeouts. The bad news: The Nats still trail 3-1 after six.

Update II: It's over. Already. Nats lose 3-1 in a game played at a pace far brisker than the last two nights. They managed only five baserunners in this game after scoring at least 10 runs in three straight games.

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