Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Gio Gonzalez goes up against Josh Johnson the nightcap of today's doublheader.
Bryce Harper and Michael Morse, who sat out the first game, are back in there for the nightcap. Jayson Werth, who reached base four times in the opener, will sit this one out to rest his healing wrist.
Gio Gonzalez gets the start, and after Davey Johnson had to use four relievers to close out the first game, the Nats could certainly use an effective and deep outing from the left-hander.
Plenty more updates to come from the ballpark, so please keep checking back...
MIAMI MARLINS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS (Game 2)
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 8:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 183
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 90 degrees, Wind 9 mph RF to LF
2B Steve Lombardozzi
RF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
LF Michael Morse
SS Danny Espinosa
CF Roger Bernadina
C Sandy Leon
LHP Gio Gonzalez
2B Emilio Bonifacio
3B Donovan Solano
SS Jose Reyes
1B Carlos Lee
LF Greg Dobbs
RF Austin Kearns
CF Gorkys Hernandez
C John Buck
RHP Josh Johnson
HP Adrian Johnson
1B Mike Muchlinski
2B Fieldin Culbreth (cc)
3B Toby Basner
8:06 p.m. -- And we're underway. Again.
8:12 p.m. -- An 11-pitch top of the first for Gio Gonzalez, the only blemish a bunt single by Jose Reyes. Can't really fault Gio for that.
8:23 p.m. -- And the Nats are right back on top again. Steve Lombardozzi gets things started with a triple to left-center, then scores on Ryan Zimmerman's sac fly to right. That gives Zim 56 RBI for the season, which is a pretty remarkable total considering how bad he was for the first two months. He's got 34 of those RBI over his last 35-plus games. Nats lead 1-0 after one.
8:40 p.m. -- Gio cruising along. Though three scoreless innings, he's allowed only the Reyes bunt single and has struck out four. Still 1-0 in the middle of the third.
8:57 p.m. -- Speaking of cruising along ... Josh Johnson is doing it himself. Has retired 12 in a row since the Lombardozzi triple in the bottom of the first. It remains a 1-0 lead for the Nats as we move to the fifth.
9:03 p.m. -- Wow, Gio has completed five scoreless innings on 49 pitches (39 of them strikes). Doesn't get any better than that. Especially in Game 2 of a doubleheader when Davey had to burn more relievers than he wanted in the opener.
9:14 p.m. -- Well, there's one you don't see too often: Michael Morse was standing on second base after a leadoff double in the fifth when Roger Bernadina lofted a bloop single just inside the left-field foul line. And Morse never left second base, never advanced. He either thought that ball would be caught or land in foul territory. It wasn't a tremendously costly play, but it was an odd play to say the least. Still 1-0 as we move to the sixth.
9:27 p.m. -- That turned ugly in a hurry. Gio served up five singles in the top of the sixth, four of them in succession with two outs. Looked like he was starting to leave his pitches up in the zone and was paying the price for it. Just like that, the Nats trail 3-1 and need to mount a rally against Josh Johnson, who has been dealing himself.
9:40 p.m. -- Gio bounces back in the top of the seventh, striking out three more to give him nine on t he night. But the Nats still trail 3-1 and have nine outs left to make up that deficit.
9:51 p.m. -- Danny Espinosa has fallen right back into his old habits from the left side of the plate, and it's not pretty. He's now 3 for his last 36 with 16 strikeouts, including two tonight. The Nats still have only three hits off Johnson as we now head to the eighth, with Gio back on the mound.
10:00 p.m. -- Well, I have to say I saw that one coming all the way from up here in the press box. Unfortunately, Espinosa didn't see it at all. Jose Reyes broke from second base on Carlos Lee's grounder to short and then came all the way around to score. Gio Gonzalez let out as much of a reaction as I've ever seen from him, and it looked like it was all directed at Espinosa (who should've looked Reyes back to third base before throwing to first). So it's now 4-1 as the Nats are down to their final six outs.
10:06 p.m. -- And now they're down to their final three outs.
10:22 p.m. -- And the deficit grows larger as the Marlins add an insurance run in the top of the ninth off Craig Stammen. Johnson will get the chance to complete his start, taking the mound for the bottom of the ninth with the Nats trailing 5-1.
10:42 p.m. -- That'll do it. The Nats lose this one 5-2 after scoring a run in the ninth on a play in which it appeared Emilio Bonifacio seriously injured his left wrist. Johnson was pulled with two outs but Steve Cishek finished it off to give the Marlins a split of the doubleheader. And with the Braves holding on to win tonight, the Nats' lead in the NL East is down to 2 games.