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Aggressive Gio sinks Mets in stellar outing

Lefty throws 7 scoreless innings, fans 9
MLB.com @WashingNats

NEW YORK -- Left-hander Gio Gonzalez was the antithesis of his previous start as the Nationals blanked the Mets, 1-0, at Citi Field on Saturday night.

On the heels of allowing six runs on 10 hits over five innings against Miami and seeing his ERA balloon to 5.01, Gonzalez pitched seven shutout innings, allowed six hits and struck out nine. The only time he was in trouble was in the first inning, when he allowed two hits, a walk and wild pitch. But it helped that the Nationals were able to make a key play at the plate.

Full Game Coverage

NEW YORK -- Left-hander Gio Gonzalez was the antithesis of his previous start as the Nationals blanked the Mets, 1-0, at Citi Field on Saturday night.

On the heels of allowing six runs on 10 hits over five innings against Miami and seeing his ERA balloon to 5.01, Gonzalez pitched seven shutout innings, allowed six hits and struck out nine. The only time he was in trouble was in the first inning, when he allowed two hits, a walk and wild pitch. But it helped that the Nationals were able to make a key play at the plate.

Full Game Coverage

With one out in the first inning, and a runner on first, Lucas Duda doubled down the left-field line. Juan Lagares tried to score all the way from first base, but thanks to assists from left fielder Jayson Werth and shortstop Ian Desmond, Lagares was thrown out at the plate.

Video: WSH@NYM: Relay throw cuts down Lagares at the plate

"It was a good play," catcher Wilson Ramos said. "We are playing really well right now. Gio gave up that double. [But] we made a really good play."

After that inning, Gonzalez, whose ERA dropped to 3.86, was aggressive and relied on his sinker the rest of the way.

"We threw too many offspeed [pitches] early in the game," Ramos said. "After that, the sinker was moving a lot. I started calling more sinkers. That was the key tonight."

Video: WSH@NYM: Gio dives to snare grounder off the mound

Gonzalez is 6-1 with a 1.66 ERA in nine starts at Citi Field. Overall, he is 8-4 with a 2.87 ERA in 14 career starts against the Mets.

Asked why he is able to have success at Citi Field, Gonzalez said, "It's New York. It's a beautiful city, has great food. The Mets have a great team. Obviously, the first inning was a little rough, but thank God, [Werth] and [Desmond] took care of that run for me. After that, I wanted to be aggressive in the strike zone."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Washington Nationals, Gio Gonzalez