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LaRoche, Gonzalez lead Nationals past Pirates 7-4

Thursday - 5/17/2012, 3:38pm  ET

By HOWARD FENDRICH
AP Sports Writer

WASHINGTON - Adam LaRoche broke open a tight game with a three-run double for his 1,000th career hit after homering for No. 999, and Gio Gonzalez took over the NL strikeout lead from teammate Stephen Strasburg by fanning 10 in seven innings Wednesday night, leading the Washington Nationals past the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-4.

Hitting cleanup while Michael Morse is on the disabled list, LaRoche leads the Nationals with seven homers and 29 RBIs. Talk about a turnaround: LaRoche hit .172 with three homers in 43 games in 2011 before having left shoulder surgery.

Gonzalez (5-1) allowed three runs, four hits and two walks. His 60 strikeouts are four more than Strasburg's total.

LaRoche and Xavier Nady hit consecutive homers off Erik Bedard (2-5) in the sixth.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)