By Will Beverina
A rain-shortened matchup with the Diamondbacks ended in disappointment for the Washington Nationals, as the team got blanked in less than six innings of play, 3-0.
The game was initially delayed for a little more than half an hour due to rain. And with one out in the top of the sixth, the game was called short after more rain settled into the area.
The loss made Washington’s hopes of gaining home-field advantage in the National League Division Series shakier, keeping the Los Angeles Dodgers within two games of that chase.
Even worse than the weather was Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez, who needed 100 pitches to make it through just 3 2/3 innings. The left-hander gave up three runs on eight hits, and scarcely did much to earn the trust of the Washington faithful after Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo declared Gonzalez as a capable No. 3 starter in the postseason. Gonzalez now has a 5.66 ERA in his last seven starts, and is likely done for the regular season.
Ending his season under better circumstances was Arizona pitcher Shelby Miller. The right-hander struck out five batters in five innings and allowing five hits.
Diamondbacks second baseman Jean Segura enjoyed a milestone evening on offense. Segura managed to collect three hits to bring his season total up to 200, just the second player to do that in franchise history. He also got the scoring started in the first inning, when he was driven home on a Paul Goldschmidt ground out. Those two would combine again in the fourth inning when Goldschmidt lined a single to left field, allowing Segura to score once again.
In between those tallies was Brandon Drury double that sent Chris Owings home in the third inning. Those three plays ended up being more than enough in the limited innings played.
Gonzalez earned the loss on the day, bringing his season record to 11-11. Miller improved his 2016 campaign to 3-12.
The Nationals and Diamondbacks will say farewell to each other for the year when the two square off in the series finale on Thursday afternoon. First pitch from Nationals Park is set for 1:05 p.m.