Suzuki homers in Nationals’ romp of Mets
NEW YORK – Kurt Suzuki was part of a Washington Nationals’ power surge on Sunday against the New York Mets.
Washington hit four home runs – including two off touted rookie Zack Wheeler – and Gio Gonzalez pitched seven shutout innings in a 13-2 victory over New York.
Suzuki, a Baldwin High School alumnus, belted a two-run homer to left field off Brandon Lyon in the eighth, which made the score 8-0. Suzuki, who has three homers on the season, also had a run-scoring infield single in the second.
Adam LaRoche, Jayson Werth and Ian Desmond also went deep for the Nationals, who went to 4-8-2 in road series by taking two of three from the Mets.
“It’s a stride in a right direction,” Desmond said. “Obviously I think we’re capable of more than this. Not being greedy or anything, but we have a good offense and we feel like we can score runs.”
Every Nationals position player had at least one hit and an RBI in setting a season-high for runs.
Gonzalez (5-3) allowed three hits and two walks with seven strikeouts.
“I just said ‘Go right at these guys. Get ahead. Attack the strike zone. Put them on the defensive a little bit. Just focus on the glove,’ ” Suzuki was quoted as saying on The Washington Times website.
Gonzalez won for only the third time in 11 outings since May 5, even though he has given up two earned runs or fewer in 10 of those games.
“Nobody likes to waste good pitching like we have for the first half of the season,” Ryan Zimmerman said.
The Nationals ruined Wheeler’s home debut, which became such a laugher that catcher Anthony Recker pitch-ed the ninth inning. He allowed a two-run homer to Desmond.
“I wanted to throw strikes and stay within myself and not get hurt,” said Recker, who reached 88 mph on the stadium radar.
With the expected return today of star slugger Bryce Harper, who has been out since late May with left knee bursitis, the Nationals are optimistic of making a run in the National League East despite being a disappointing 41-40.
“Anytime you can add a guy like that to your lineup, offensively and defensively, you’re in good shape,” Suzuki said.
Wheeler (1-1) allowed five runs on six hits in 4 2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out five.