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Gio Gonzalez allowed two runs to earn his first win since May 5.
Hitting highlight: How rare was the Nationals' five-run explosion in the bottom of the third? Well, it was only the third time all season they scored that many runs in one inning. And it featured another true rarity: a three-run homer. LaRoche's blast to left-center was only the seventh three-run shot hit by the Nationals this season (plus Ian Desmond's grand slam last week in Philly). It was a much-needed outburst for a Nats lineup that went into this game without Zimmerman (who got the night off to rest his barking right shoulder) and had a gimpy Werth in right field. Werth, who came out of Sunday's game early with a pulled groin, did reach base four times, an impressive feat. On the bases and in the field, though, he still didn't look 100 percent.
Pitching highlight: Gonzalez has pitched better than this over the last six weeks, but he certainly hadn't gotten this kind of run support. So a few hiccups tonight were no big deal for the lefty, who was thrilled to get six runs from his teammates to provide some cushion. Gonzalez did dominate early, getting some big strikeouts on both his curveball and changeup. He carried a shutout into the sixth, but then faded quick. Four straight Diamondbacks recorded hits, and suddenly Tyler Clippard was warming in the bullpen. Davey Johnson let Gio pitch his way out of that jam, and at 91 pitches, you figured maybe his night was over. But Davey then let Gonzalez hit for himself and re-take the mound for the seventh. That experiment only lasted two batters, with Capt. Hook finally making an appearance and summoning for Drew Storen. No worries, Gio still pitched well enough to earn the win, incredibly his first since May 5 despite a 2.25 ERA in nine starts since then.
Key stat: Twenty-four of Anthony Rendon's 32 hits in the big leagues have been to center or right fields.
Up next: The series continues at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday when Jordan Zimmermann seeks his league-leading 11th win against lefty Wade Miley.