PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Gio Gonzalez finished his first season with the Nationals in the National League Cy Young Award conversation.
He seems to be picking up right where he left off this spring.
Gonzalez struck out three batters over two scoreless innings Monday, leading the Nationals to a 6-4 victory over the Mets at Tradition Field. In his first outing since Game 5 of the National League Division Series, Gonzalez walked one and allowed no hits.
"It's good to get on that mound again and get back at it, especially with the fan support I was getting out there," Gonzalez said. "It was good to hear that the fans still support you and still love you. There were a little butterflies, which is a good thing. When you get that feeling, it means that baseball hasn't left your emotions."
The Nationals' offense fared much better against Mets starter Collin McHugh, who gave up three runs over 2 1/3 innings. Steve Lombardozzi opened the scoring by doubling home Eury Perez with one out in the third. After Brandon Lyon came on later in the inning to relieve McHugh, Tyler Moore and Carlos Rivero greeted him with run-scoring hits.
The Nationals and Mets then traded runs in the fourth inning on Lombardozzi's RBI single against Elvin Ramirez and Ike Davis' solo homer off Ross Ohlendorf. The Nats scored their fifth run on Dustin Hood's RBI double in the seventh, and they would have plated another had Matt den Dekker not robbed Anthony Rendon with a spectacular over-the-wall catch in center.
Up next for the Nationals: The Nationals go to Lake Buena Vista, Fla., and play the Braves on Tuesday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. ET. Left-hander Ross Detwiler will make his spring debut and is expected to throw 45 pitches. It will be Detwiler's only start for Washington before he plays in the World Baseball Classic for Team USA.