Five strikeouts for Gonzalez, Nats run into trouble (0-0 final in 10)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP

Score: Nationals 0, Tigers 0 (10 innings)

Recap: The Nationals and Tigers combined for 12 hits in this scoreless extra-inning affair. Gio Gonzalez was impressive, striking out five while allowing only two hits and one walk in four innings. Tanner Roark had his best outing of the spring, scattering three hits with three strikeouts in two frames. Nats relievers Matt Thornton and Aaron Barrett also shut out in the Tigers in an inning of work each.

Need to know: Tough day at the plate for most of the Nats, but especially for center fielder Michael A. Taylor who was 0-for-4 with four strikeouts. Taylor, an option for the opening day leadoff spot, now has 11 strikeouts in 28 plate appearances with no walks this spring.

On deck: Friday, at Astros in Kissimmee, 1:05 p.m
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VIERA, Fla. - Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez has struck out five of the first 12 batters he’s faced, while allowing two hits and a walk in four innings. Gonzalez has been getting in front of the hitters with a solid fastball and finishing them off with sharp breaking balls.

gonzalez  throw white sidebar.jpgThe Nats potentially had a one-out rally going in the first. Cue the “Benny Hill” theme as I attempt to explain what happened.

Ian Desmond singled. With Bryce Harper at the plate, Desmond took off attempting to steal second base. Harper fisted a liner into left field that fell for a single. Desmond, having slid into second, didn’t see the ball fall. He got up and started heading back to first while Nats third base coach Bobby Henley shouted and furiously waved his arms for Desmond to return to second. Desmond was rocking back and forth in no man’s land, basically frozen. He was confused and easily tagged out in a Keystone Cops play.

The Nats have been retired in order since.

There’s no score in the fourth.

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