(Sports Network) - A brilliant pitching matchup is on tap for Citi Field
tonight as Gio Gonzalez and the National League East-leading Washington
Nationals face off with knuckleballer R.A. Dickey and the struggling New York
Mets in the middle contest of a three-game set.
Rookie star Bryce Harper drove in the go-ahead run as part of a six-run 10th
inning on Monday to lead Washington in an 8-2 win over New York in the opener
of a the series.
Harper also had a solo home run while the red-hot Ryan Zimmerman, the reigning
NL Player of the Week, added a three-run double in the 10th. Michael Morse
followed with a two-run homer to help the Nationals win a third consecutive
game and extend their lead in the East to 4 1/2 games over Atlanta.
"I just wanted to make sure I didn't hit into a double play there," said
Harper when talking about his game-winner. "Got a good pitch to swing at and I
was just trying to get it into the outfield."
Tom Gorzelanny (3-2) got the win for getting the final two outs of the ninth
inning and working a scoreless 10th.
David Wright and Ike Davis hit solo home runs for the Mets, who have lost four
straight and 10 of 11.
New York now sits third in the East, 9 1/2 games behind the Nationals, who own
a 7-3 mark against the Mets in the season series.
The news hasn't been all good for Washington, however. All-Star shortstop Ian
Desmond, who leads the Nats with 17 home runs, had attempted to play through a
painful oblique injury but was placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday after
an MRI showed a tear on his left side.
"He's been our MVP all year," veteran utility man Mark DeRosa told the
Nationals' website. "Big hit after big hit. He's basically been the captain of
our infield for all of the first half of the season. So to lose him is tough."
New York's lone victory since the All-Star break came when Dickey outdueled
Gonzalez last week en route to taking his 11th consecutive decision.
The All-Star has cooled a bit recently, however, and allowed 10 hits while
surrendering three earned runs over 7 1/3 innings against Washington during
his last start.
Gonzalez has also slowed after compiling a sterling 7-1 record with a 2.04 ERA
over his first 10 starts. Since then the lefty has been a far more pedestrian
5-4 with a 4.93 ERA over his last nine trips to the hill, including giving up
a season-high six runs over 3 1/3 innings in last week's matchup with Dickey.
The Sports Network