Jul 25, 2012, 4:10 AM EDT
US Presswire photo
Adam LaRoche watches his sixth-inning homer soar to right field.
NEW YORK — The major-league schedule is a quirky beast. The Nationals wrapped up their season series with the Reds on Mother’s Day, yet they won’t face the Cardinals for the first time until Labor Day weekend.
Then there are the Mets, who are about to conclude a nine-day stretch in which they play the Nationals six times. Which produced Tuesday night’s matchup between Gio Gonzalez and R.A. Dickey, a showdown of All-Star hurlers that would have been noteworthy if not for the fact the two had just squared off five days earlier in Washington.
That encounter was won convincingly by the Mets, with Gonzalez putting forth his worst start of the season and the Nationals struggled to lump hits in bunches against Dickey.
Five days later, the Nationals turned the tables. They racked up five consecutive hits off Dickey in the top of the seventh, highlighted by Adam LaRoche’s second-deck homer. And Gonzalez authored perhaps his best start of the year, surrendering one unearned run and only two hits over seven brilliant innings to atone for his previous outing and lead the Nationals to a 5-2 victory.
“He was out there to prove something,” manager Davey Johnson said.
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