Led by strong pitching and timely offense, the Washington Nationals edged the New York Yankees by a score of 3-2 Tuesday afternoon, improving their Grapefruit League record to 8-4.
Jordan Zimmerman got the start for the Nationals and looked to be in mid-season form. The right-hander threw four perfect innings with four strikeouts, delivering the best pitching performance by any Nationals pitcher so far this spring. Zimmerman has yet to allow a run in nine innings of work this spring and is comfortable with his progress with Opening Day just over two weeks away.
“I feel like I’m ready to go,” Zimmermann told MLB.com’s Bill Ladson. “Now it’s just building up arm strength and getting up to 80, 90 pitches before the season starts. My stuff is pretty sharp right now.”
The Nationals scored their first run off of Yankees’ starter C.C. Sabathia on an RBI ground out by Wilson Ramos in the bottom of the first, making it a 1-0 game. Washington would score two more runs against Sabathia in the bottom of the second inning on a two-run double by Anthony Rendon, giving Washington a 3-0 lead.
The Yankees scored a run in the top of the fifth off of Nationals’ reliever Drew Storen, cutting Washington’s lead to 3-1. Storen was a bit shaky, giving up a run and two hits over an inning of work. But the right-hander also struck out three batters and has looked stronger in recent appearances than he did earlier in the spring.
New York scored its second and final run in the top of the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Brett Gardner, before the Nationals bullpen shut the door to seal the win for the home team.
The Nationals will have their second split-squad day of the spring tomorrow afternoon, when they’ll face the Houston Astros in Kissimmee, Fla, and the Atlanta Braves in Lake Buena Vista.
Tags: Washington Nationals