MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Gio's homecoming start derailed in 4th inning

Gio's homecoming start derailed in 4th inning

MIAMI -- Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez showed Sunday afternoon that it's not wise to come home all the time. The Miami-area native didn't pitch well in a 6-2 loss to the Marlins. He pitched five-plus innings, allowing six runs on 10 hits and striking out eight batters.

Gonzalez was cruising until the fourth inning. After Ichiro Suzuki singled with two outs, Giancarlo Stanton was caught in a rundown between third and home. First baseman Ryan Zimmerman threw the ball to catcher Wilson Ramos, who held on to the ball and allowed Stanton to go back to third safely and load the bases. Adeiny Hechavarria then tripled home three runs. It turned out to be the turning point of the game.

Hechavarria's three-run triple

But Gonzalez blamed himself for the three runs to score.

"What affected me was falling behind hitters ... I wasn't attacking the strike zone as much," Gonzalez said. "Realistically, it happens in baseball. As a starting pitcher, you have to go out there and minimize the damage. Obviously, I didn't do that. I have to make a better pitch to Hechavarria. Even knowing the situation, you have to make the adjustment. Again, that's all me."

After that, Gonzalez would allow three more runs. Stanton highlighted the scoring with an RBI triple.

"The derailing factor was giving the extra [out in the fourth inning]," manager Matt Williams said. "I thought [Gonzalez] was fine up until that point. One swing of the bat. It's three runs. It's tough to come back from that and [the Marlins] added a couple."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.