Gonzalez leads Nationals into finale with Brewers

( - Gio Gonzalez has sparkled against NL Central teams this season, and Sunday tries to get back on the winning track when the Washington Nationals play the rubber match of a three-game series versus the Milwaukee Brewers.

Gonzalez is 4-0 with a 0.32 ERA in four starts this season against NL Central teams, having allowed a run over 28 innings. That includes six shutout frames at Miller Park, the last time he faced the Brewers on June 23, a 3-0 Nationals victory.

That was the start of the lefty's three-game winning streak, which was broken July 10 at Baltimore when Gonzalez was touched for six hits and four runs -- three earned -- over 6 2/3 innings in a 4-3 defeat.

Gonzalez is 2-0 with a 1.89 ERA in three career starts versus Milwaukee.

The Nationals come into today's game a percentage point ahead of Atlanta for first place in the NL East, while the Brewers are even with St. Louis atop the NL Central.

Yovani Gallardo, who is 0-1 over his last four starts, counters for the Brewers. The righty didn't get a decision against St. Louis July 11, when he yielded seven hits and five runs over 5 1/3 frames. He is 3-3 with a 5.61 ERA in 10 career games (nine starts) against Washington.

Last night, Ryan Zimmerman hit a two-run single as part of a five-run first inning in Washington's 8-3 win.

"You want to be aggressive," Nationals manager Matt Williams said.

Zimmerman finished 2-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored, Wilson Ramos went 3-for-4 with three RBI and Jayson Werth posted two hits and a pair of runs scored for the Nationals, who have won three of their last four games.

Tanner Roark (9-6) allowed a run on six hits and a walk over seven innings to notch the win.

Matt Garza (6-7) lasted just one-third of an inning, surrendering all five of Washington's first-inning runs on five hits and two walks for Milwaukee, which had its brief two-game winning streak snapped on the heels of a 1-11 stretch.

"He didn't throw the ball that bad," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of Garza. "It's a shame, he made good pitches and they did a good job of fouling them off and they did a good job of reaching out and putting balls in play."

Ryan Braun smacked a two-run homer in defeat.

The Nationals won two of three in Milwaukee from June 23-25.