Game in a nutshell: The Nationals wasted no time at all pouncing on Mets right-hander Carlos Torres. Two batters into this game, they already led 2-0 thanks to back-to-back homers from Denard Span and Ryan Zimmerman. They never let up, blasting three more homers by the fifth inning to take a commanding, 9-run lead. Given that kind of cushion, Gio Gonzalez was free to go right after New York’s hitters without fear, and the left-hander did it brilliantly. He issued a one-out walk in the first, then retired 17 batters in a row, carrying a no-hitter into the seventh. Alas, pinch-hitter Zach Lutz opened the seventh with a liner that just grazed the chalk behind first base, foiling Gonzalez’s attempt at history. He settled for a mere 1-hit shutout and his 10th win of the year. Thus the Nationals won for the 20th time in 29 games and now sit 5 games over .500, matching the high-point of their season. And with the Reds’ loss to the Cubs, the deficit in the NL Wild Card race is back down to 7 games.
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