Nationals avoid sweep behind Gonzalez's strong outing

Matt Wieters and Michael A. Taylor homered and Washington left-hander Gio Gonzalez pitched seven innings for the first time this season as the Nationals beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-1 at Nationals Park on Sunday.

Wieters and Taylor homered off reliever T.J. McFarland (1-1), who entered in the second inning after Arizona starter Robbie Ray was forced to leave with what was initially diagnosed as a strained right oblique.

Wieters, the first batter McFarland faced, hit his third homer as part of a two-run second inning, and Taylor hit his third homer with one out in the third inning for a 3-0 lead.

Gonzalez (3-2) gave up six hits and one run in seven innings, striking out a season-high eight and walking one.

Nick Ahmed had three hits and Ketel Marte had two for the Diamondbacks, who went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

Despite their hot start to the season, the D-backs' starting rotation is being tested. Arizona lost No. 4 starter Taijuan Walker to season-ending Tommy John surgery after just three starts this season.

Howie Kendrick extended his hitting streak to seven games and Trea Turner had his 12th stolen base for the Nationals, who had lost six of seven and are just 4-9 at home. Turner tied the franchise record for consecutive successful stolen bases to start a season.

Ray appeared to suffer the injury on the pitch on which Taylor grounded out to third baseman Deven Marrero for the first out of the bottom of the second. After his first pitch to the next batter Wieters, Ray signaled catcher John Ryan Murphy to the mound and manager Torey Lovullo immediately called for McFarland.

Wieters hit his third homer on a 3-2 pitch, and McFarland committed an error on Ryan Zimmerman's grounder to the mound with the bases loaded to enable another run to score for a 2-0 lead.

Taylor's third homer an inning later made it 3-0.

Arizona scored on Daniel Descalso's sacrifice fly in the seventh inning after Marte singled and Marrero walked to lead off the inning, then Gonzalez got a force out at second.

Sean Doolittle pitched around a leadoff double in the ninth inning for his fifth save.

Arizona has won nine straight series, the first NL team since the 1907 Cubs to do that, and will play host to the Dodgers and Houston in a seven-game homestand that opens Monday with a four-game series against the Dodgers.

--Field Level Media

Arizona DiamondbacksDiamondbacks000000100182
Washington NationalsNationals021000000370
WP:Gio Gonzalez (WAS)
LP:T.J. McFarland (ARI)
Season Series
.237Batting Average.209
3.3Runs / Game2.4
11Home Runs4