Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Gio Gonzalez and two relievers combined for a three-hit shutout as the Washington Nationals blanked the Chicago Cubs, 3-0, in the opener of Wrigley Field's first scheduled doubleheader in 31 years.
The finale of this four-game series was originally slated for Sunday but was pushed up a day because of expected traffic at Chicago's Pride Parade. This is Chicago's first scheduled Sunday off since at least 1932.
Gonzalez (5-4) yielded just two hits and a pair of walks, striking out seven before departing after seven stellar innings.
"The Cubs have a tough lineup," Gonzalez said. "They make you earn a win."
Tyler Clippard struck out two in the eighth and Rafael Soriano nailed down his 19th save with a 1-2-3 ninth.
Anthony Rendon had three of Washington's seven hits, finishing a home run shy of the cycle and scoring twice.
Dallas Beeler (0-1) was terrific in his major league debut for the Cubs. After getting called up from Triple-A Iowa, Beeler allowed just one unearned run with six strikeouts in six innings of work.
"It's a big weight lifted off the shoulders," Beeler said of getting his debut out of the way.
Both starting pitchers were perfect through two. Nate McLouth led off the top of the third inning with a base knock to left, but Darwin Barney started a 4-6-3 double play and Gonzalez grounded out. Beeler faced the minimum through three.
An uneventful start to the game got a jolt when Justin Ruggiano put a drive into a 2-0 Gonzalez offering to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning. The ball stayed in the yard, however, and Nationals center fielder Denard Span tracked the ball down to make a leaping catch at the warning track. Later that inning, Span caught another fly ball in center and fired to first, doubling off Anthony Rizzo, who walked earlier in the frame.
Washington broke the 0-0 tie in the sixth inning. With two outs and no one on base, Rendon doubled to left and moved to third on John Baker's passed ball. During Adam LaRoche's at-bat two hitters later, Beeler served up a wild pitch and Rendon came around to score.
In the visiting eighth, Span singled and Rendon drove him in with a triple to the wall in right-center. LaRoche made it 3-0 with a sacrifice fly.