After eight scoreless innings, the Nationals offense came to life in the top of the ninth inning, mounting a two-run game-tying rally. The tie wouldn’t last long however, as the Braves walked off in the bottom of the ninth on an RBI single by Braeden Schlehuber, sealing a 3-2 win for Atlanta.
Jordan Zimmermann got the start for the Nationals as he made his second appearance of the spring, both of which have been against the Braves. The right-hander once again looked to be in mid-season form, allowing just two hits in three scoreless innings of work while striking out four batters. Zimmermann has yet to allow a run this spring.
Braves’ starter Julio Teheran matched Zimmermann’s performance pitch for pitch, throwing three scoreless innings of his own while also finishing the day with four strikeouts.
The Nationals and Braves combined to score 31 runs when these two starters met last Saturday, but Thursday’s game was a completely different story. Neither offense managed to score a run until the sixth inning, when the Braves took a 1-0 lead on an RBI single by Todd Cunningham. Atlanta would add to their lead later in the inning on a double play that scored Dan Uggla from third.
It was a good game for Nationals’ right-hander Blake Treinen, who threw two scoreless innings after allowing six runs against the Braves last Saturday.
Impressive showing by Blake Treinen tonight. The sinkerballer works two scoreless against a tough Braves lineup, Ks two. Fastball sat at 96
— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) March 7, 2014
The Braves would hold on to their lead until the top of the ninth inning, when Nationals’ catcher Chris Snyder led off with a home run to left field off of Braves reliever Lay Batista. Washington tied the game four batters later on a two-out RBI single by outfielder Michael Taylor, making it a 2-2 game.
The rally ended there however, as Schlehuber gave the Braves their third victory of the spring. The Nationals will play the Braves two more times this spring and 19 times during the regular season.
They’ll be back in Viera tomorrow to face the Houston Astros.