Washington Nationals Win 4th in a Row Behind Gio's Arm and Jayson Werth's Power

Michael NargiSenior Analyst IMay 5, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 12:  Starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez #47 of the Washington Nationals throws to a Cincinnati Reds batter during the fifth inning of their opening day game at Nationals Park on April 12, 2012 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Washington Nationals hit their lowest point of the season last week when they lost five games in a row. They have responded to the losing streak with four consecutive victories to remain on top in the NL East.

The Nationals won again on Saturday afternoon against the Philadelphia Phillies behind another stellar pitching performance by Gio Gonzalez.

Gonzalez pitched seven innings of one-run ball, striking out seven and walking one batter. Gonzalez improved to 3-1 on the season.

His efforts did not stop on the mound as he led the bottom of the fifth inning off with a booming double. He would later score when Jayson Werth launched a three-run home run to give the Nats a 3-1 lead at the time. 

The inning continued with back-to-back singles by Chad Tracy and Danny Espinosa. Rick Ankiel followed with a double that scored Tracy while Espinosa was thrown out at home.

A 4-1 lead was more than enough for the Nats pitching staff, who entered the game with a major league-low 2.41 ERA. 

Ian Desmond and Tracy added home runs to bury the Phillies 7-1.

It seems that every day someone else steps up offensively to put a few runs on the board for the Nats to support their pitchers. Today the Nats scored a season-high seven runs, a high that they have reached only three times this season.

Once Michael Morse and Ryan Zimmerman are back in this lineup, there will be a lot more firepower that can put up these offensive numbers every night.

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 03:  Jayson Werth #28 of the Washington Nationals celebrates after scoring on a ground out by Rick Ankiel #24 in the second inning at Nationals Park on May 3, 2012 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images


Despite Bryce Harper being held hitless Saturday, his presence in the three-hole while Werth mans the cleanup spot appears to be working. They have not lost since changing the lineup.

The Nationals, who are 18-9 overall and 12-3 at home, will look for the sweep of the Phillies in primetime on Sunday night when Jordan Zimmermann (1-2, 1.89 ERA) faces Cole Hamels (3-1, 2.78 ERA) at 8 p.m. ET.