Nats knock around Wheeler, take series in New York
Flushing, NY (Sports Network) - Gio Gonzalez capped a solid June with another effective start and the Washington Nationals battered Zack Wheeler early and often in his Citi Field debut en route to a 13-2 thumping of the New York Mets.
Gonzalez (5-3) limited New York to three hits over seven shutout innings while fanning seven to earn his second straight win. The lefty didn't allow more than two earned runs in any of his six starts (40 1/3 innings) this month.
The Nationals received solo homers from Adam LaRoche and Jayson Werth in putting up five runs on Wheeler (1-1), with the highly touted Mets phenom lasting just 4 2/3 innings in his first home appearance.
Each position player knocked in a run for Washington, with Werth scoring four times, Denard Span adding three hits and Kurt Suzuki contributing a two-run homer to a six-run eighth inning that emphatically locked up a series victory.
"It was nice to see the bats come alive," said Washington manager Davey Johnson. "Will make that trip home a lot shorter."
Wheeler was tipping his pitches in his last outing against the White Sox, and looked to correct the problem in a 1-2-3 first inning on Sunday. However, it all unraveled from there.
LaRoche crushed Wheeler's first pitch of the second, sending it off the Pepsi Porch in right to begin a four-run frame for Washington.
Wheeler needed 37 pitches to get out the inning, with Ian Desmond and Span pounding RBI doubles around Suzuki's infield run-scoring hit. Werth then hit a mammoth homer to left in the third for a 5-0 Nationals lead.
"The first inning I was hitting my spots, everything was working," Wheeler said. "Then I started leaving some balls up. I'm starting to learn the hard way you can't get away with mistakes up here."
Gonzalez worked out of his only real threat in his final inning of work, retiring three in a row after allowing the first two batters of the frame to reach.
Washington then went on blow the game open, with Roger Bernadina's run-scoring ground-rule double preceding a two-run blast from Suzuki that gave the Nationals an eight-run lead.
Anthony Rendon then knocked in a pair with a double off the left field wall and Ryan Zimmerman's RBI base hit capped the explosive frame.
Mets catcher Anthony Recker came on to pitch the ninth and served up Desmond's ninth homer in the month of June, a two-run shot into left that made it a 13-0 game.
John Buck delivered New York's only runs with a two-run homer in the ninth.
The Mets are 15-25 at Citi Field this season ... New York's Eric Young Jr. had an eight-game hitting streak snapped ... Desmond finished the month with 28 RBI, setting a Nationals record for most collected in a calendar month. Adam Dunn held the previous mark, knocking in 27 runs in May of 2009 ... Washington had six doubles and 13 hits for the contest.
06/30 19:35:00 ET