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MIA@WSH: Gio fans eight over seven scoreless frames

Since joining the Nationals before last season, Gio Gonzalez has been quite successful against the Phillies. In six career starts against Philadelphia, the left-hander is 4-1 with a 2.31 ERA, with Washington winning five of those contests.

He'll look to keep those numbers going on Tuesday against Phillies right-hander Ethan Martin at Citizens Bank Park as the Nationals fight to stay in the playoff race. They are 7 1/2 games back of the Reds for the second spot in the National League Wild Card race.

Gonzalez began his last start on shaky ground, allowing two runners to get on base in each of the first two frames. However, he settled down after that, retiring 15 of the next 16 Marlins batters he faced to toss seven shutout innings for his eighth win of the season.

When Gonzalez went back to the locker room to change his jersey because of the muggy weather before the third inning, closer Rafael Soriano told Gonzalez to fix his mechanics on the mound.

"Soriano was telling me to ,'stay back, your arm is dropping way too low, you are trying to rush,'" Gonzalez said. "As soon as I picked that up, I started getting into a groove."

Meanwhile, Martin allowed three runs on four hits in four innings against the Mets on Thursday for the loss. Martin continued to have trouble the second time through the lineup.

The right-hander retired seven of the first nine batters he faced. He allowed one hit and one walk the first time through the lineup, striking out five consecutive batters at one point. However, the Mets then went 3-for-8 with one double, one home run and two walks the rest of the way.

Opponents have hit .208 (10-for-48) with one double, one home run, five walks and 21 strikeouts the first time they've seen Martin in a start this season. They have hit .333 (19-for-57) with four doubles, four home runs, 11 walks and 11 strikeouts after that.

"I felt pretty decent almost every start," Martin said. "Even [pitching coach Rich] Dubee said something. He said around that 60-pitch mark, I kind of have a little struggle in there. I've got to get through that. Hopefully, I can get to that point this year."

Nationals: Knorr interested in managerial post
Bench coach Randy Knorr said Monday that he would like to be considered as the next manager of the Nationals once manager Davey Johnson retires at the end of the season.

"I would like [the Nationals] to consider me. But I know [general manager] Mike [Rizzo] has a bunch of people in mind, also," Knorr said. "It would be an honor to be considered for that job. … I try not to think too far ahead. I like to take things day by day."

Of the current players on the Nationals' Major League roster, Knorr has managed 11 of them, including Ryan Zimmerman and Stephen Strasburg, in the Minors.

Phillies: Asche out of lineup
Rookie third baseman Cody Asche was out of the Phillies starting lineup on Monday against the Nats. However, that is all part of the schedule the Phillies have laid out for Asche after he tweaked his right hamstring last week.

"He passed the test of playing in a game yesterday," interim manager Ryne Sandberg said on Monday. "The whole plan, strategy was to give him a day off after he played one game, and to be careful and bring him along. He felt fine today, but that was the plan and we're sticking to it today."

After a slow start to his Major League career -- just one hit in his first 17 at-bats -- Asche is hitting .288 (21-for-72) with a pair of home runs and 13 RBIs.

Worth noting
• The Phillies lead the Majors in hits (45), total bases (69) and game-winning RBIs (seven) for their pinch-hitters this season.

• At 17-12, the Nationals have the NL's third-best record since Aug. 1. Comments