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Gio Gonzalez was dominant over seven innings of 1-run ball.
Hitting lowlight: It's not often you get a golden opportunity against Kimbrel, so you've got to make the most of it. The Nationals couldn't in the top of the ninth of a 1-1 game. Despite a leadoff single from Zimmerman and a subsequent double from Adam LaRoche, the Nats couldn't push across the go-ahead run. Desmond struck out looking at a 2-2 fastball, perhaps the biggest infraction of the inning. Roger Bernadina then grounded into a 5-2 fielder's choice, leacing it all up to the struggling Danny Espinosa. Espinosa swung at Kimbrel's first pitch and flied out to left, killing the rally.
Pitching highlight: Against a tough veteran with such a track record of dominance against the Nationals, Gonzalez had to be on top of his game tonight. And he was. Not only did the left-hander get good results — one run on three hits over seven innings — but he was all over the strike zone. He issued only one walk and, most impressively, threw 72 of his 105 pitches for strikes. That's an extraordinary strike percentage for Gonzalez, and a great sign for him. He even helped himself out at the plate, roping the night's first hit by either team. That single left Gio sporting a .294 batting average for the season. Stunning.
Key stat: Since returning from a five-day break to let his fractured wrist heal, Danny Espinosa is 2-for-15 with six strikeouts.
Up next: The series wraps up at 1:35 p.m. Sunday when Nate Karns takes the mound for his second career start (hoping to go at least five innings this time and qualify for the win) against left-hander Paul Maholm.