VIERA, Fla. — Four days after becoming a father for the first time, Washington left-hander Gio Gonzalez allowed one run over 4 1/3 innings as the Nationals defeated the Houston Astros 5-3.
It’s been a scramble for Gonzalez, who flew to Washington to be with his fiancee for the birth of their son, Enzo. He rejoined the team on Saturday night.
"What’s it been like? It’s like being a dad," Gonzalez said. "It’s been great. It’s a little tiring, because you want to be there and help them out as much as possible. But you’ve got to get back to work."
"As far as the whole process, it was exciting to be a father and then all of a sudden come back to work and play baseball. You felt like a little kid as an adult," he said. "Lea, my fiancee, I’m just happy that she’s healthy and she created a beautiful little boy. I’m glad he took all her looks. Hopefully I can teach him a thing or two. Hopefully he gets her brains, too."
Gonzalez was hardly dominant against the Astros, allowing five hits, walking four and throwing a wild pitch. He was able to work himself out of several jams and only gave up the one run while throwing 87 pitches.
Wilson Ramos hit a solo home run and Ryan Zimmerman delivered a two-run double for the Nationals.
Astros: Scott Feldman gave up three runs on five hits in 3 2/3 innings while working extensively on his changeup.
"I think today was the most I’ve ever thrown (it) in a game," he said. "I threw some good ones, threw some bad ones. But I think for the most part, it was a good experience."
Astros: C/OF Evan Gattis is getting some at-bats in minor league games and doing some running as continues to make his way back from sports hernia surgery.
Nationals: A day after getting hit by a comebacker, Washington RHP Joe Ross (right heel contusion) said he’s fine and expects to make his next start.
Nationals: Day off. Washington will host the New York Yankees on Wednesday.
Astros: Mike Fiers gets the start at home against Atlanta’s Mike Foltynewicz.
NATS MAKE CUTS
The Nationals have assigned RHPs Erik Davis, Michael Brady and Burke Badenhop to minor league camp. Nationals manager Dusty Baker said Badenhop has been given several days to decide whether to accept the assignment or ask for his release.
Once again, Baker hinted at, but did not confirm, Max Scherzer will be the team’s opening day starter. Baker also said at this point the rotation sets up to have Gonzalez follow Scherzer with Stephen Strasburg at the No. 3 spot. Tanner Roark and Ross will likely be the fourth and fifth starters, though their order hasn’t been determined.
Baker said the reason for slotting Gonzalez between Scherzer and Strasburg would be to help preserve the bullpen.
"You want to put Gio in the No. 2 (spot) because he’s had a little bit of a history of inconsistency as far as going deep in a game," Baker said. "Until that happens, you like to have your innings guy behind a guy that’s still trying to get it together. If not, you’re going to tax your bullpen for three days in a row."