PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Gio Gonzalez finished his first season with the Nationals in the National League Cy Young Award conversation.
He seems to be picking up right where he left off this spring.
Gonzalez struck out three batters over two scoreless innings Monday, leading the Nationals to a 6-4 victory over the Mets at Tradition Field. In his first outing since Game 5 of the National League Division Series, Gonzalez walked one and allowed no hits.
"It's good to get on that mound again and get back at it, especially with the fan support I was getting out there," Gonzalez said. "It was good to hear that the fans still support you and still love you. There were a little butterflies, which is a good thing. When you get that feeling, it means that baseball hasn't left your emotions."
The Nationals' offense fared much better against Mets starter Collin McHugh, who gave up three runs over 2 1/3 innings. Steve Lombardozzi opened the scoring by doubling home Eury Perez with one out in the third. After Brandon Lyon came on later in the inning to relieve McHugh, Tyler Moore and Carlos Rivero greeted him with run-scoring hits.
The Nationals and Mets then traded runs in the fourth inning on Lombardozzi's RBI single against Elvin Ramirez and Ike Davis' solo homer off Ross Ohlendorf. The Nats scored their fifth run on Dustin Hood's RBI double in the seventh, and they would have plated another had Matt den Dekker not robbed Anthony Rendon with a spectacular over-the-wall catch in center.
Up next for the Mets: Last year's spring darlings, Jenrry Mejia and Jeurys Familia, will both pitch Tuesday in a 1:05 p.m. game against the Marlins at Jupiter, Fla. Mejia, who arrived at camp late due to a visa issue, will be making his first outing of the spring. He figures to open the season at Triple-A Las Vegas, but could sneak into the big league rotation if Johan Santana is not healthy.