(Monday, September 10th)
Final Score: Washington 5, New York 1
Flushing, NY (Sports Network) - Ryan Zimmerman, Ian Desmond and Kurt Suzuki all hit home runs for the Nationals, leading Washington past the New York Mets, 5-1, in the opener of a three-game set.
Gio Gonzalez (19-7) earned his major league-leading 19th win of the season. He pitched six innings, allowing just one run on three hits while striking out six. He walked five batters.
"I'm focused on trying to get more wins," Gonzalez said. "We're just having fun and playing our baseball."
The Nationals, who increased their major-league best win total to 87, have won nine of their last 12 games.
The Mets, losers of four in a row and six of their last seven, continued their horrific recent play at home. They have lost 20 of their previous 24 home games and have now gone 11 straight contests without scoring more than three runs at Citi Field.
After lasting just four innings in his previous outing, Colin McHugh (0-2) didn't fare much better in his third major-league start. Once again, the rookie lasted just four frames, giving up five runs, although just two were earned.
In the third inning, Mets catcher Kelly Shoppach dropped a foul pop up that would have ended Suzuki's at-bat. Two pitches later, Suzuki jacked a homer over the left field wall.
"There are going to be drops. ... They are completely separate plays. It doesn't change the fact that I threw a poor pitch," McHugh said.
The Nationals scored two more in the inning, both runs also unearned to the Mets starter. McHugh retired the two batters after Suzuki, which would have ended the inning had Shoppach caught the foul pop up. However, McHugh then walked Bryce Harper and Zimmerman bopped his 21st home run of the season to dead center field to make it a 3-0 lead for the Nationals.
In the Nationals' following frame, Michael Morse led the inning off with a single. Desmond then came to the plate and cracked a homer to right-center, his 22nd of the season, to increase Washington's advantage to five.
The Mets got one back in the bottom half of the inning, when Scott Hairston hit a leadoff homer to cut the Nationals' lead to four.
If Washington wins one of the next two games, they will have taken all six series from the Mets this season ... Since the All-Star break, the Nationals are 37-6 when scoring three or more runs ... Mets starting pitcher R.A. Dickey will attempt to tie Gonzalez's win mark Tuesday night when he takes the mound.
09/11 01:35:45 ET