Gio returns from DL with five-inning outing

Gio returns from DL with five-inning outing

WASHINGTON -- Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez made his first start since May 17 and did not figure in the decision as Washington edged the Astros, 6-5, on Wednesday night.

Gonzalez missed more than a month of action because of left shoulder inflammation. Gonzalez got off to a good start against Houston and had a 2-0 lead after three innings.

However, Gonzalez had problems in the fourth inning, when the Astros scored four runs to make it a 4-2 game. Matt Dominguez highlighted the scoring with a two-run single. Gonzalez lasted five innings and allowed the four runs on five hits. Gonzalez wanted to pitch an extra inning, but manager Matt Williams wouldn't allow it.

"I felt like it was not one of my strongest outings, but it was a step in the right direction," Gonzalez said. "I'm off the DL is a great sign. The first few innings, I was trying to get the arm on top. In the fourth inning, I got ahead of the hitters, but I couldn't put them away. … It's something that I learn from, adjust the cobwebs and get back at it. It's definitely a work in progress."

Gonzalez said his shoulder problems are behind him and he hopes to be a contributor the rest of the year.

"I'm ready to go, keep pitching and I have to keep moving forward," Gonzalez said. "I'm happy to be with this rotation that's going to constantly keep me moving forward and positive."

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