Catching on: Desmond homers off Recker, Gonzalez leads Nationals over Mets and Wheeler 13-2

  • Article by: HOWIE RUMBERG , AP Sports Writer
  • Updated: June 30, 2013 - 3:50 PM

NEW YORK — Gio Gonzalez pitched seven shutout innings, Ian Desmond homered off a backup catcher and the Washington Nationals roughed up rookie Zack Wheeler and the New York Mets 13-2 Sunday for a much-needed road-series win.

Adam LaRoche homered and Desmond and Denard Span had RBI doubles in a four-run second to spoil Wheeler's home debut, which became such a laugher that catcher Anthony Recker pitched the ninth inning.

Jayson Werth also homered against the Mets' touted rookie as Washington finally gave Gonzalez (5-3) some run support — and then some.

The Nationals set a season-high for runs as they reached the midpoint at 41-40, a disappointment for the NL East preseason favorite. Washington improved to 4-8-2 in road series by taking two of three from the Mets.

Kurt Suzuki hit a two-run homer and Anthony Rendon had a two-run double when Washington batted around in a six-run eighth. Suzuki also had an RBI single in the second against Wheeler (1-1).

A day that began with such promise for Mets fans ended as Recker smiled while while warming up to pitch the ninth. Desmond hit a two-run homer off the facade of the restaurant in left field, giving him 28 RBIs in June and a Nationals record for any month.

Gonzalez (5-3) 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.

After giving up a one-out single to Daniel Murphy and walking David Wright in the first, Gonzalez retired 17 of 18 around Wright's fourth-inning double before pinch-hitter Zack Lutz walked to open the seventh.

Josh Satin followed with a single, and pitching coach Steve McCatty took a slow walk to the mound. Gonzalez retired the next three batters and finished with seven strikeouts and two walks.

Mets starters Matt Harvey and Dillon Gee dominated the Nationals in the first two games of the series, and many of the 33,366 — the second-highest attendance this season at Citi Field after opening day — were eager to see Wheeler do the same in his third big league start. The crowd included his parents and two brothers

Wheeler got the biggest cheer from fans when lineups were announced and then another roar after striking out two in the first with a fastball that ranged from 94-98 mph. But he didn't make it through five innings.

LaRoche quieted the crowd in the second with a drive off the facing of the second deck in right field on the first pitch. Unsettled, Wheeler walked Werth on four pitches and allowed an RBI double to Desmond.

Desmond laid off two sliders before sending a fastball into the right-center gap. One long fly out later, Suzuki singled through a drawn-in infield for a 3-0 lead. After Gonzalez struck out, Span doubled to left-center on a 93 mph fastball for the inning's final run.

Wheeler slowly walked off the mound to near silence. When Wheeler sat in the dugout, manager Terry Collins stopped by for a moment and the 23-year-old received pats of encouragement from pitching coach Dan Warthen and Harvey.

Werth homered to left-center on another fastball with two outs in the third and Wheeler was chased after walking LaRoche with two outs in the fifth, putting runners on first and third.

The sixth overall pick by San Francisco Giants in the 2009 amateur draft, Wheeler has had mixed results in the majors. He pitched six scoreless innings in his debut in Atlanta but gave up four runs and four hits in 5 1-3 innings against the Chicago White Sox, an outing in which Collins said Wheeler was tipping his pitches.

This time Wheeler yielded five runs and six hits in 4 2-3 innings. He struck out five and walked two.

John Buck hit a two-run homer in the ninth for the Mets.

NOTES: The Mets finished June 11-15, Washington was 13-13. ... Washington OF Bryce Harper (left knee bursitis) went 0 for 3 with a walk and run scored in what was likely his final rehab outing for Double-A Harrisburg on Saturday. He batted .364 (4 for 11) with a double, triple and homer in four games. ... Nationals RHP Dan Haren (shoulder inflammation) had a bullpen session for first time since going on DL last week.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Team Irvin 7:15 PM
Team Carter
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 98 FINAL
Cleveland 108
Dallas 28 2nd Qtr 10:31
New Orleans 29
Indiana 32 2nd Qtr 8:44
Orlando 35
LA Clippers 39 2nd Qtr 7:06
Phoenix 31
Minnesota 26 2nd Qtr 8:58
Atlanta 36
Detroit 6:00 PM
Toronto
Milwaukee 6:00 PM
San Antonio
Boston 7:00 PM
Golden State
Washington 7:00 PM
Denver
Houston 8:30 PM
LA Lakers
Team Toews 10 2nd Prd 8:33
Team Foligno 6
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 FINAL
Marist 73
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 77 FINAL
St Johns 68
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 57 FINAL
Butler 77
NJIT 72 FINAL
South Alabama 55
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Illinois State 53
Louisville 80 FINAL
Pittsburgh 68
UMBC 55 FINAL
Albany 69
Niagara 57 2nd Half 1:49
Iona 85
Notre Dame 9 1st Half 13:18
NC State 13
Belmont 6 1st Half 15:41
Tennessee St 11
Creighton 6:00 PM
Villanova
Northwestern 6:30 PM
Maryland
Washington 7:30 PM
Utah
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
UMBC 42
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
UCF 61 FINAL
SMU 57
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Hartford 58 FINAL
Albany 82
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 58 FINAL
Xavier 54
Creighton 93 FINAL
Marquette 75
Providence 42 FINAL
DePaul 90
Northeastern 77 FINAL
Elon 80
(2) Connecticut 96 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Oregon 78 FINAL
Arizona 81
Bradley 46 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
NC State 49 FINAL
(23) Syracuse 66
(7) Maryland 84 FINAL
Indiana 74
Illinois State 35 FINAL
Missouri State 58
Colorado 68 FINAL
Washington St 73
Tulane 45 FINAL
South Florida 64
(14) Kentucky 83 FINAL
Missouri 69
(9) Oregon State 68 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 57
Vermont 63 FINAL
UMass Lowell 72
Iowa State 58 FINAL
(8) Texas 57
Southern Ill 61 FINAL
Wichita State 80
(15) Duke 52 2nd Half 10:00
(12) North Carolina 54
Miami-Florida 39 2nd Half 5:38
(4) Louisville 55
(21) Minnesota 42 2nd Half 11:44
(25) Rutgers 49
California 23 1st Half 3:11
UCLA 24
(11) Stanford 7:00 PM
USC
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How optimistic are you about the 2015 Twins?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close