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Hitting lowlight: Just as they did Tuesday night, the Nationals jumped on a tough opposing pitcher for a quick run in the top of the first, with Denard Span drawing a walk, Bryce Harper singling on the first pitch he ever saw from Verlander and Jayson Werth lofting a sac fly for his NL-leading 22nd RBI of July. But just as they did Tuesday night, the Nationals did nothing else at the plate the rest of the game, held to that one early run. Incredibly, this was the 30th time in 108 games this season in which this lineup has scored zero or one run. The Nationals did that only 26 total times in 162 games last year, a striking example of the difference between the two clubs.
Pitching lowlight: Things started to go downhill for Gonzalez in the second inning. He allowed a two-run double to No. 8 hitter Ramon Santiago, then a two-run homer to No. 9 hitter Alex Avila, then a solo homer to Torii Hunter. But they really spiraled out of control in the fourth. Six straight batters reached base, on a walk and five singles. Gonzalez could only put his hands on his hips and crack a sarcastic smile as Davey Johnson trudged to the mound to remove him from the game. The left-hander wound up allowing as many earned runs (10) as he recorded outs (10). It was a nightmare of a start from Gonzalez, who saw his season ERA skyrocket from 2.97 to 3.57.
Key stat: Only two pitchers in Nationals history have allowed 10 runs in a game: Jason Simontacchi (June 19, 2007) and Gio Gonzalez (today). Both starts came against the Tigers.
Up next: The Nationals will spend a day off in Milwaukee, then open a three-game series with the Brewers Friday at 8:10 p.m. Wisconsin native Jordan Zimmermann gets the start against former Nats lefty Tom Gorzelanny.