It’s June 10 and the National League East-leading Nationals are showing no signs of a potential fade.
Gio Gonzalez allowed just three hits over 6 1/3 innings of two-run ball and first baseman Adam LaRoche hit his 10th home run of the season on Saturday afternoon as Washington rolled to its second consecutive victory over the Red Sox.
Gio now boasts a lights-out 2.35 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 89/30 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings this year.
The Nats are 10-2 in games that Gonzalez has started and will enter Sunday’s series finale at Fenway Park with a one-game lead over the Braves in what might be baseball’s most competitive division.
Your Saturday box scores:
Nationals 4, Red Sox 2
Cubs 3, Twins 11
Phillies 4, Orioles 6 (12 innings)
Blue Jays 2, Braves 5
Rangers 2, Giants 5
Astros 1, White Sox 10
Padres 5, Brewers 2
Tigers 3, Reds 2
Angels 11, Rockies 5
Mets 2, Yankees 4
Dodgers 8, Mariners 3
Royals 3, Pirates 5
Indians 0, Cardinals 2
Rays 13, Marlins 4
Athletics 3, Diamondbacks 8
We learned on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu won one of the final two spots in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Brandon McCarthy has won the other, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports. Alex Wood was McCarthy’s competitor for the spot.
McCarthy, 33, posted a 4.85 ERA across four appearances spanning 13 innings this spring, yielding seven earned runs on 14 hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Wood, a southpaw, gave up five earned runs in six innings against the Reds on Tuesday, which might have factored into the decision.
Last season, McCarthy made nine starts and one relief appearance, posting a 4.95 ERA with a 44/26 K/BB ratio in 40 innings. In the event McCarthy falters, the club has Wood as well as Julio Urias and the injured Scott Kazmir as potential replacements.
The Yankees have re-signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Niese was released on Sunday, but he’ll stick around and provide rotation depth for the Yankees.
Niese had knee surgery last August and got a late start to spring training as a result. In six spring appearances lasting an inning each, the lefty gave up three earned runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.
Niese, a veteran of nine seasons, put up an aggregate 5.50 ERA with an 88/47 K/BB ratio in 121 innings last season between the Pirates and Mets.