AP Baseball Writer

NEW YORK (AP) _ Gio Gonzalez earned his big league-leading 19th
victory and the Washington Nationals backed him with three home
runs to beat the listless New York Mets 5-1 Monday night.

Kurt Suzuki put the Nationals ahead with a home run right after
catcher Kelly Shoppach dropped his foul popup for an error. Ryan
Zimmerman launched a two-run shot later in the third inning and Ian
Desmond added a two-run drive in the fourth.

That was plenty for Gonzalez (19-7) and the team with the best
record in the majors. The lefty gave up three hits over six innings
_ none until Scott Hairston homered in the fourth.

Gonzalez worked around five walks and looked relaxed in
extending his career high for wins. While he waited in the on-deck
circle in the sixth, he chatted with fans in the front row as
Suzuki batted.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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