Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez recorded his second career shutout and… (Jim McIsaac / Getty Images )
NEW YORK — Gio Gonzalez was inches from a no-hitter and the Washington Nationals hit five home runs Monday night, including long balls by their first two batters, in a 9-0 rout of the New York Mets.
Gonzalez held the overmatched Mets hitless into the seventh before pinch-hitter Zach Lutz broke up the bid with a soft single for New York's only hit.
Lutz swung at the first pitch of the inning and hit a looper that landed on the first base line, taking out a chunk of chalk well behind the bag.
First baseman Adam LaRoche made a diving attempt as the ball hit the dirt, but it squirted by and into foul territory along the right-field line.
First base umpire John Hirschbeck correctly called it fair, and Gonzalez (10-6) paused behind the mound to stare in his direction.
After that, the left-hander kept sailing along in a dominant performance. He struck out eight and walked two for his second career shutout and fourth complete game, improving to 5-0 in his last six starts against the Mets.