Gio still working out kinks, but pleased overall

Gio still working out kinks, but pleased overall

JUPITER, Fla. -- Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez made his fourth start of the spring on Friday afternoon, allowing two runs (one earned) over 4 2/3 innings of a 2-0 loss to the Cardinals.

Manager Matt Williams said that Gonzalez had problems with his command early in the game, which resulted in his pitch count rising. Gonzalez ended up throwing 82 pitches in the game.

"He had a little bit of a struggle with the command of his fastball, but other than that, he was good," Williams said.

Gonzalez acknowledged that he didn't have his best game, but he was pleased that he was getting his changeup over the plate. He was also happy that he was able to cover first base on a ground ball, something he struggled with for most of last year.

With one start left before the regular season, Gonzalez has a goal he would like to reach before the team heads back to D.C.

"I want to finish Spring Training strong and make sure that I'm ready to go, get ready for the regular season," Gonzalez said.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com 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.