Division leaders square off at Chavez Ravine
(SportsNetwork.com) - Gio Gonzalez will try again to claim his first victory since early July on Monday night as the Washington Nationals begin a three- game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Gonzalez's winless streak reached nine straight starts with a no-decision versus Philadelphia on Tuesday. That left the hurler winless since July 5, with five straight losing decisions dropping him to 6-9 with a 3.86 earned run average on the year.
The left-hander gave up three runs over six innings versus the Phillies in his club's 4-3 loss.
"(Gonzalez) kept us in it," Nationals manager Matt Williams said of his starter. "Just made a couple of mistakes."
Gonzalez is 0-1 with a 1.50 ERA in two career meetings with the Dodgers, who counter with veteran Roberto Hernandez.
The right-hander is 2-1 with a 3.52 ERA in four games since being acquired from the Phillies and is coming off a 9-5 win over Arizona on Tuesday. Hernandez gave up three runs on six hits and two walks over six innings.
"I thought he was okay. I don't think he was as sharp as the first time we've seen him," said Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly about Hernandez. "He seemed to get behind in the count, but had a kind of 'bend-don't-break' thing going on today."
Hernandez is 8-9 with a 3.81 ERA in 27 total games this year, including 24 starts, and is 3-1 with a 1.19 ERA in four lifetime encounters with the Nats.
Both the Nationals and Dodgers are coming off series losses, but maintain first place in their respective divisions.
Washington is six games ahead of the Atlanta Braves in the National League East despite a loss in four of six, while Los Angeles has a slimmer 2 1/2-game lead over the San Francisco Giants in the NL West.
The Nationals hit three homers on Sunday -- two by Bryce Harper and one off the bat of Nate Schierholtz -- but all three were solo shots in a 5-3 loss.
The Dodgers, meanwhile, dropped a pair of extra-inning games to San Diego before notching a 7-1 win on Sunday. Hyun-Jin Ryu came off the disabled list to pitch seven innings of one-run ball, getting his first win since Aug. 13 in a return from a right hip strain.
"A good win for us -- we're in position to control our own destiny," said Mattingly.
The Dodgers banged out 12 hits to avoid being swept by the Padres in San Diego for the first time in almost four years. Juan Uribe also came off the 15-day DL and had two hits and two RBI for Los Angeles.
The Dodgers won five of six versus the Nationals last season, but dropped two of three in Washington from May 5-7.
09/01 10:37:00 ET