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Gio, Werth argue in Nats dugout in first inning

WASHINGTON -- During the Nationals' 4-2 victory over the Giants on Tuesday night, starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez found himself in a heated argument with right fielder Jayson Werth in the middle of the first inning.

Werth was upset that Gonzalez didn't get to first base in time for a potential inning-ending double play after Buster Posey hit a grounder to Adam LaRoche at first base.

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"I kind of read it wrong. I didn't think LaRoche was going to make that play," Gonzalez said. "I thought [second baseman] Anthony [Rendon] was. I didn't cover the bag. It was the way I fell off the mound. After that, I had to minimize damage."

Gonzalez also was dealing with back spasms, and that's why he had problems covering first base. The back started to get better as the game went along.

"I'll be ready for my next start," he said.

The TV cameras showed Werth and Gonzalez arguing in the dugout after the top of the first inning ended, while pitching coach Steve McCatty and hitting coach Rick Schu had to separate them.

"Just a little camaraderie going on," Nationals manager Davey Johnson joked. "Jayson sometimes can get a little vocal. He thought Gio wasn't covering first. ... The spirits are high. No big deal."

Gonzalez pitched four shutout innings and allowed two hits. He left the game after a one-hour, 17-minute rain delay. Werth went 1-for-4 and scored a run on a sacrifice fly by Kurt Suzuki in the eighth inning.

Both Gonzalez and Werth declined comment on the incident.

"It stays between me and Werth," Gonzalez said.

LaRoche said the incident between Gonzalez and Werth will be forgotten by Wednesday.

"You have a year where we've underachieved and struggled," LaRoche said. "We are around each other all day long. On occasions, tempers are going to flare. Guys are competitive, it's going to happen. They will both be over it tomorrow, so will we."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats.

Washington Nationals, Gio Gonzalez, Jayson Werth