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Gio flirts with no-no in Nats' 6th straight win

MLB.com

NEW YORK -- One of the biggest reasons for the Nationals' success to start the season has been the strength of their starting rotation. And not only the top of their rotation -- each time left-hander Gio Gonzalez has taken the mound early on this year, he has turned in a stellar outing.

That continued Saturday evening at Citi Field, when Gonzalez carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning and lasted into the seventh to lead the Nats to a 3-1 victory over the Mets. He held New York to one run in 6 1/3 innings with six strikeouts and three walks while only allowing two hits, the first of which did not come until Juan Lagares singled in the sixth inning.

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NEW YORK -- One of the biggest reasons for the Nationals' success to start the season has been the strength of their starting rotation. And not only the top of their rotation -- each time left-hander Gio Gonzalez has taken the mound early on this year, he has turned in a stellar outing.

That continued Saturday evening at Citi Field, when Gonzalez carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning and lasted into the seventh to lead the Nats to a 3-1 victory over the Mets. He held New York to one run in 6 1/3 innings with six strikeouts and three walks while only allowing two hits, the first of which did not come until Juan Lagares singled in the sixth inning.

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Video: WSH@NYM: Lagares' single ends no-hit bid in the 6th

"Gio started out a little rough, but [catcher Matt] Wieters directed him through the game and he settled down, really, after the second inning, third inning," Nats manager Dusty Baker said. "Then his changeup became better. His fastball location was better and he had his breaking ball going on. He had an excellent performance."

Nats' rotation extends sterling start

Washington has now won six consecutive games and will go for a sweep Sunday night. New York, meanwhile, is ailing and has dropped seven of its past eight games.

Video: WSH@NYM: Zimmerman's single plates third run for Nats

"We aren't overswinging. We're not striking out. We're putting the ball in play," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "The approach is what we want. ... I don't have an answer, except we're not hitting."

"We're going to turn this around," Mets catcher Rene Rivera said. "One day we're going to explode and this will be over. ... It's better to have this stretch at the beginning of the season than at the end."

The Nationals scored three runs off Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom, who had an unusual outing. At times, he looked dominant, with 10 strikeouts to record his second consecutive double-digit strikeout game. But he also gave up eight hits and walked a career-high six in 5 2/3 innings.

Video: WSH@NYM: Turner's double plates Eaton

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
First sign of trouble: After the Mets broke up Gonzalez's no-hitter, they threatened to tie the game in the sixth. Asdrubal Cabrera drove in the first run with an RBI single to make the score 3-1. That left a pair of runners on with one out, but Gonzalez struck out both Jay Bruce and Neil Walker to escape the jam.

Video: WSH@NYM: Cabrera's single plates a run in the 6th

"I was just trying to be aggressive with them," Gonzalez said. "I don't want to let up. I wanted to keep throwing my pitches and attacking the strike zone. I fell behind, but [Wieters] got me right back where I needed to be. And that's where my hat's off to him. He called a great game."

Video: WSH@NYM: Wieters opens the scoring with an RBI single

Closing it out: The Nationals' bullpen has struggled mightily to begin the season, which caused them to reshuffle a few roles earlier this week. After Gonzalez left the game in the seventh, three Nats relievers -- Blake Treinen, Enny Romero and Koda Glover -- combined to retire the next eight batters. Treinen, who was removed from the closer's role earlier this week, got two outs on three pitches. Romero struck out two on the night as he pitched a scoreless eighth and got a pair of outs in the ninth. And Glover retired the final batter of the game for his first career save.

Video: WSH@NYM: Glover induces flyout to earn the save

"I think things are going to continue to iron themselves out," Treinen said. "We've had a really good last few games so just going to keep that going."

QUOTABLE
"Our pitching has kept us in the game -- look at today. When you get beat 3-1 and you think you got blown out, that's not good. Our pitching staff is keeping us in games and we're not giving any help." -- Collins

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
deGrom struck out 10 and walked six. Only four other Mets have done that: Johan Santana, Dwight Gooden, Nolan Ryan (five times) and Tom Seaver. It was a performance that was hard to characterize, with a career-high 27 swinging strikes along with the career-high six walks. More >

Video: WSH@NYM: Watch deGrom's 10 K's in 10 seconds

REPLAY REVIEW
Cabrera made a spectacular defensive play on Anthony Rendon's ground ball with two out in the seventh, but the call on the field was that Rendon had beaten the throw. The Mets successfully used their challenge to secure the final out of the frame. Cabrera had to go to his backhand side and slide to skewer the ball and spun to his feet to make the throw. The replay showed the ball hit the outstretched glove of first baseman Bruce just before Rendon's foot hit the base.

WHAT'S NEXT
Nationals: Max Scherzer (2-1, 1.37) will take the mound for Sunday night's finale against the Mets. In three starts against the Mets last season, he allowed just two earned runs in 20 2/3 innings. Left fielder Jayson Werth is also expected to return after missing the past three games with groin spasms.

Mets: Zack Wheeler (1-1, 5.52) gets the ball as the Mets try to snap a three-game losing streak and a run of six straight losses to the Nationals dating back to last season. The Mets have struggled to score runs with Yoenis Cespedes sidelined by a hamstring injury, and Collins said he is unlikely to play in Sunday's 8 p.m. ET contest with Washington at Citi Field.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Roger Rubin is a contributor to MLB.com based in New York and covered the Mets on Saturday.