Nationals turn to Gonzalez in opener vs. Reds

Lefty Gio Gonzalez faces the Cincinnati Reds for the first time this season and fourth time in his career on Thursday night, when the Washington Nationals entertain the Reds to begin a four-game set at Nationals Park.

Gonzalez was third in the National League's Cy Young Award voting last season after going 21-8 in 32 starts and posting a 2.89 earned run average in 199 1/3 innings.

He opened 2013 with six innings of shutout ball in a 3-0 defeat of Miami, but has since gone 0-1 with a pair of no-decisions while allowing 16 hits and 13 runs in 14 innings.

Gonzalez is 1-0 in three starts against the Reds while allowing just two earned runs in 19 innings with 25 strikeouts.

He's 10-5 in 17 career starts at Nationals Park.

The Reds counter with righty Bronson Arroyo, who aims for a third win in four decisions.

The Key West, Fla. native has defeated the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Philadelphia, while losing at St. Louis and getting a no-decision against Miami.

He's allowed 11 runs in 28 innings and has pitched eight innings in his last two starts.

Arroyo is 3-3 in 11 starts against the Nationals and 0-1 in three games at Nationals Park.

On Wednesday in Cincinnati, Todd Frazier scorched a solo home run for the game's only run and Mat Latos struck out four over seven-plus innings as the Reds slipped past the Chicago Cubs, 1-0, in the finale of a three-game set.

Latos (1-0) limited the Cubs to just three hits over the first seven frames before allowing the first two batters to reach base in the eighth.

Jonathan Broxton took over and retired all three hitters he faced before Aroldis Chapman worked around a two-out single in the ninth to nail down his fourth save of the season.

Shin-Soo Choo collected two hits and has reached base in all 21 of his appearances for the Reds, who wrapped up a 10-game homestand at 8-2.

In Washington, Yadier Molina drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single in the first inning and the visiting St. Louis Cardinals rode an early outburst to a 4-2 win over the Nationals.

Matt Holliday and Matt Carpenter each had three hits for the Cardinals, who swept a three-game road series against the Expos/Nationals for the first time since Sept. 26-28, 1969 at Montreal.

The Reds won two of three from the Nationals in a season-opening series at Cincinnati earlier this month. Washington won five of seven games with the Reds in 2012.