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Gio discusses his Spring outing against the Cardinals

JUPITER, Fla. -- Riding a four-run second inning off Adam Wainwright, the Nationals defeated the Cardinals, 6-2, at Roger Dean Stadium on Saturday. The meeting was the first between the clubs since October's National League Division Series.

Washington starter Gio Gonzalez was more effective than Wainwright, who gave up five runs on eight hits in three innings. Wainwright threw 55 pitches (31 strikes) and allowed home runs to Chris Marrero and Anthony Rendon.

Gonzalez threw 30 of his 52 pitches for strikes and limited the Cardinals to two runs and five hits in three innings. Allen Craig drove in the Cardinals' first run with a first-inning double. He added an RBI single in the third.

"Felt good. Arm feels good. I feel healthy. I'm where I want to be," Gonzalez said. "Again, little by little, making adjustments. It's the second game of Spring Training. I'm pretty sure everyone's doing the same thing. Everyone's making adjustments, everyone's trying to work on what they need to work on. You see your defense and offense coming alive and making good plays, it's pretty exciting to see right now."

The start was Gonzalez's last before joining Team USA to participate in the World Baseball Classic.

Shelby Miller, who is competing for the Cardinals' last open rotation spot, followed Wainwright on the mound and made his spring debut. Miller struck out the side in the fourth on 12 pitches. Ian Desmond tagged him for a home run in a one-run fifth.

Danny Espinosa, Marrero, Rendon and Desmond each finished with multiple hits for the Nationals. Nathan Karns and Ryan Perry contributed scoreless appearances out of the Washington bullpen.

Mitchell Boggs made his final relief appearance for the Cardinals before departing for the Classic on Sunday. Boggs, who will be one of Gonzalez's USA teammates, worked around Rendon's one-out double to pitch a scoreless sixth.

Up next: Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is expected to make his Grapefruit League debut as designated hitter on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. ET against the Cardinals at Space Coast Stadium. Ross Detwiler will start, while Will Ohman is also expected to make his spring debut out of the bullpen.

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