(Sports Network) - Offseason acquisition Gio Gonzalez makes his first start in
front of his new fans today when the Washington Nationals open their 2012 home
schedule with the first of a four-game set with the Cincinnati Reds at
The 26-year-old from Hialeah, Fla. was a 15- and 16-game winner in the last
two seasons with Oakland before heading to Washington in a six-player deal in
He opened his initial National League season on the road at Chicago and picked
up a no-decision after allowing seven hits and four runs in 3 2/3 innings
against the Cubs in a game the Nationals won, 7-4.
Gonzalez has made one career start against the Reds and came away with a no-
decision from a strong effort, in which he allowed a single unearned run on
four hits in seven innings. He walked one and struck out nine.
Washington continued one of the best starts in recent franchise history on
Wednesday, when Stephen Strasburg outdueled Johan Santana and the Nationals
topped the New York Mets, 4-0, in the finale of a three-game series.
Strasburg (1-0) struck out nine and gave up just two hits and three walks in
six innings. He went over 100 pitches for the first time in his career, with
63 of 108 going for strikes.
Twenty-four of those pitches came during the sixth, when Strasburg gave up a
walk and a single, but Nats manager Davey Johnson left him in.
Strasburg and three other Nats pitchers struck out 15 batters in the three-hit
shutout. Nationals batters drew 10 walks for the first time in almost three
years and Mets manager Terry Collins was ejected for arguing with home plate
umpire Larry Vanover during the game
The Reds pulled to .500 and salvaged a three-game set of their own on
Wednesday, when pinch hitter Chris Heisey lined the second pitch he saw into
left-center field to score the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning,
lifting Cincinnati past St. Louis, 4-3.
Heisey's hit scored Joey Votto, who had led off the ninth with a double.
Votto had four hits, an RBI and two runs scored for the Reds.
Marc Rzepczynski (0-1) surrendered Votto's double in the ninth and took the
loss, while Aroldis Chapman (2-0) got the win for Cincinnati after striking
out five in two scoreless innings.
Johnny Cueto allowed three runs on seven hits in five innings for the Reds.
Cincinnati sends its own prime offseason acquisition, righty Mat Latos, to the
mound for the second time against the Nationals.
The 24-year-old Virginia native won 14 games for San Diego in 2010 and earned
nine more last season before heading east in a trade that sent former ace
Edinson Volquez to the Padres.
Latos was roughed up in his initial outing as a Red, surrendering seven hits
and four runs in 4 2/3 innings of an 8-3 loss to Miami on April 7.
He's won three of four career decisions against the Nationals and has given up
just six runs on 18 hits in 24 2/3 innings, while walking nine and striking
The Reds won four of six versus the Nationals a season ago, but both losses
came in Washington.
The Sports Network