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GIO GONZALEZ TIED HIS RECORD OF VICTORIES IN ONE SEASON
Thu, 16 Aug 2012 10:08 PM EDT

Gio Gonzalez makes friends easily, and he showed why on Monday night after the Nationals’ blowout triumph over the Giants.

Before he talked about anything he probably did on the mound, Gonzalez took time to recognize the run support his squads gave him.

Kurt Suzuki drove in 4 runs, Danny Espinosa and Roger Bernadina each knocked in 3 and the Washington Nationals routed the SF Giants 14-2 in a matchup of National League division leaders.

”Most seriously they came up big and gave me something to work with,” Gonzalez said. ”My thought from the get-go was just to maintain, especially with the pitcher they’d today. He is not a easy guy to go out there and get 2 runs off of, and right off the bat these fellows are swinging the bat. Can’t complain with some runs.”

Gonzalez (15-6) tied a Nationals record for wins in a season, boosted by Washington’s highest-scoring game of the season.

”I just attempted to pound the strike zone,” Gonzalez related. ”Last inning started wearing on me a little bit, but that is the reason why you’ve a great bullpen, to scrub up my mess.”

The Washington Nationals led 14-0 in the 5th inning and won for the 11th time in 13 games. They’re 7-1 on this road trip.

”The boys are in a good mood,” Nationals manager Davey Johnson expounded. ”Just like the skipper. It was pleasant to watch the offense. We beat up on a very good pitcher.”

NL ERA leader Ryan Vogelsong (10-6) allowed 8 runs and 9 hits in 2 2-3 innings, his shortest outing of the season.

Pinch hitter Brandon Crawford homered and drove in both runs for the Giants, who have lost 3 of 5. San Francisco dropped into a tie with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the National League West lead.

”There’s not a whole lot to say,” Giants executive Bruce Bochy related. ”What could go wrong went wrong and they made some very good contact. They placed the ball well and we could not stop it.”

Gonzalez returned to the Bay Area for the 1st time since the Athletics traded him to the Nationals during the offseason. He won his 2nd right after going 1-3 in his 5 previous starts. Baseball scores

Gonzalez gave up 2 runs and 6 hits over 6 2-3 innings.

Every Nationals position player, with the exception of late-inning replacement Cesar Izturis, either scored a run, drove in a run or got a hit. Bernadina had four of Washington’s 21 hits, and Steve Lombardozzi, Ryan Zimmerman, Espinosa and Suzuki each had 3. Suzuki’s 3-run double capped a 7-run 3rd that made it 8-0.

”You play the game the right way and you get rewarded for it,” Zimmerman said. ”We just got some big hits and that was it.”

The 21 hits were most by a visiting team at ATT Park.

Vogelsong finished up with the 4th-best ERA in the National League. Of the 19 batters he faced, 11 reached base. He hadn’t pitched less than 6 innings in any of his prior starts this season, and hadn’t allowed more than 2 runs in his 11 previous home starts.


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