Mar 2, 2014; Melbourne, FL, USA; Washington Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) hits a two-run home run in the fourth inning as the Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 10-3 in a spring training exhibition game at Space Coast Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports
The Washington Nationals had another busy day at the plate Sunday afternoon, beating the Miami Marlins by a score of 10-3.
Doug Fister got the start for the Nationals, throwing two innings of one-run ball in his first game for his new ball club. Fister gave up one hit while striking out two and walking one, throwing 19 of his 30 pitches for strikes.
It was an unusual outing for Fister as he normally pounds the strike zone, but in his first game of spring training, a game that doesn’t count for anything, I think we can all forgive him for walking one batter…
The Marlins would score two runs over the next two innings on an RBI single by Reed Johnson off of Fister in the second, and a towering home run to left by Marlins’ first baseman Ed Lucas in the third, giving Miami a 2-1 lead.
The Marlins would not keep the lead for long however, as the Nationals scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth on a monster home run by first baseman Adam LaRoche, making it a 3-2 Nationals lead. The Marlins tied the game in the top of the fifth but again the Nationals came right back with two runs in the bottom of the frame on an RBI triple by Jeff Kobernus and an RBI groundout by Ian Desmond, giving Washington a 4-3 lead.
The game quickly got out of hand for the Marlins as the Nationals would tack on five more runs over the next three innings, making the home team the only undefeated team left in the Grapefruit League. (And as we all know, being undefeated in spring training is very important.)
Other than a meaningless win, there are a lot of good things to take from Sunday’s game. It was another big day for Nationals’ infield prospect Zach Walters, who had an RBI triple to left in the bottom of the eight inning. Walters is now 5-5 this spring, with two doubles and a triple. Left-handed reliever Jerry Blevins also made his Nationals debut on Sunday, giving up a single in a scoreless ninth inning.
We also got some news on the injury front Sunday, as Jayson Werth was scratched from the lineup with a right biceps strain. Werth, the only Nationals’ regular who has yet to make an appearance this spring, will rest for a few days and should be back soon.
“He was working out (Saturday) and had a little bit of a strain in his bicep,” manager Matt Williams told MASN’s Dan Kolko. “It’s just precautionary. He’s a little tight in there. Just from working out a little bit. We’re going to push him a day or two to make sure. But he’s fine. No worries.”
Even though spring training games mean absolutely nothing, it feels a whole lot better to win a meaningless game than to lose a meaningless game. The Nationals are now 3-0 in Grapefruit League play, and they’ll be back at it tomorrow against the New York Yankees in Tampa at 1:05 p.m..