Gio back with Nats after Classic experience

Gio back with Nats after Classic experience

VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez returned to camp on Sunday, two days after Team USA lost to Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic. Gonzalez worked out with the team that same day and then pitched in a Minor League game Monday.

"During the World Baseball Classic, I was doing my routine, trying to get ready every five days," Gonzalez said. "I think being back with the team is exciting. It was an honor to play and represent USA. It was an experience I will never forget."

Gonzalez pitched once for team USA and pitched five shutout innings as the Americans defeated Puerto Rico, 7-1, at Marlins Park, which was 10 miles southeast of Hialeah, Fla., where Gonzalez grew up.

"It was loud," Gonzalez said. "Every inning, it was like the last out of the World Series. When I was done with that game, I was telling my mom, my energy was down, it was so draining. Every pitch was intense, every play was intense. One little false move could cost you the game. That was it. You had to focus."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.