VIERA (CBSMiami/AP) – Washington's top-notch rotation saw a minor hiccup on Saturday. Gio Gonzalez, the Nationals' left-hander, gave up three straight hits, including a two-run double in what turned into a 4-0 Marlins' victory.
"They were swinging early," Gonzalez said. "I mean the first three batters, I must have thrown five pitches. It's just the way it is."
Aside from that, both Gonzalez and Nationals manager Matt Williams were content with the pitcher's day after allowing four runs and four hits in 2 2/3 innings.
"He threw first-pitch strikes to most guys and his curveball was good," Williams said. "I thought it was really good. He had good velocity, 93-95. He felt good about it and so did I."
Gonzalez, who struggled with shoulder issues last season when he went 10-10 with a 3.57 ERA, is just glad to be healthy again. He said he feels like he did in 2012 when he was "just having fun, smiling" on the way to winning 21 games.
"I can't complain about the way I feel right now," he said. "I'm on cloud nine right now."
Meanwhile, the Nationals were held to just four hits.
Miami's Adeiny Hechavarria and Christian Yelich opened the game with singles, followed by a two-run double by Marcell Ozuna, who went 2 for 3 with three RBIs.
Marlins starter David Phelps made another strong case for a spot in the Marlins rotation. The right-hander allowed just one hit in three scoreless innings.
"I would have been happier if I hadn't thrown so many pitches the first two innings, but I'm happy with zeroes," Phelps said. "I'd like to be a little sharper. There were a couple of at-bats where I was a little up in the zone. Got away with it, obviously."
Left-fielder Jayson Werth took what Williams described as some "light swinging" on Saturday as he continues his rehab from offseason shoulder surgery. Williams said Werth will play in some games on the minor league side next week where he can play defensively to "get his legs underneath him and get him in some game situations" in a controlled environment.
Miami shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria was back in the lineup Saturday for the first of back-to-back starts. Hechavarria had missed a week with a sore right shoulder before returning to action on Thursday.
The Nationals optioned INF/OF Jeff Kobernus to Triple-A Syracuse on Saturday. RHP Erik Davis will remain on the Nationals training camp roster, but will continue his rehabilitation from Tommy John surgery on the minor league side.
The Nationals will travel to Kissimmee to face the Astros. Max Scherzer will make his third start of the spring against Houston's Asher Wojciechowski.
Miami will be back in Jupiter to host the Detroit Tigers. Dan Haren will get the start for the Marlins.
Max Scherzer will make his third start of the spring for the Nationals on the road against the Houston Astros. Scherzer has thrown five innings combined in his two previous starts, giving up a total of two runs on eight hits with no walks and five strikeouts.
Miami shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria make his second straight start when the Marlins host Detroit. It will mark the first time this spring Hechavarria has played in back-to-back games. He missed a week of play earlier this spring with a sore shoulder.
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