Jordan, Ayala Hit Hard in 12-6 Nats’ Loss to Tigers


Mar 14, 2014; Lakeland, FL, USA; Washington Nationals first baseman Tyler Moore (12) is congratulated by teammates after hitting a two-run home run in the fourth inning against the Detroit Tigers during a spring training exhibition game at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Nationals’ pitchers gave up nine runs over the third and fourth innings, paving the way for a 12-6 loss to the Detroit Tigers Friday afternoon.

Taylor Jordan got the start for the Nationals and for the first couple of innings, it looked like he was well on his way to pitching his best game of the spring. But the wheels fell off for Jordan in the bottom of the third inning when the Tigers scored four runs against the 25-year-old right-hander.

Jordan allowed four runs on seven hits with two strikeouts over three innings of work. The right-hander has had a good spring so far, but Friday’s game is definitely a setback for a pitcher who is trying to win the fifth spot in the rotation.

The Nationals, who had scored a run in the top of the first on an RBI double by Nate McLouth, made it a 4-3 game on a two run homer by Tyler Moore in the top of the fourth inning. Despite the fact today’s home run is the first of the year for Moore, he has looked good at the plate and has drawn praise from manager Matt Williams.

Unfortunately for the Nationals, Detroit took another commanding lead in the bottom of the inning, scoring five runs off of Nationals’ right-hander Luis Ayala, making it a 9-3 game. It has been an inconsistent spring for Ayala as he tries to earn a spot on a crowded Nationals bullpen.

The 35-year-old has shown flashes of brilliance over the last few weeks but he has been unable to string together two solid appearances in a row. There are still two weeks to go until opening day but if Ayala does not show more consistency on the mound, he may very well find himself on the Nationals’ next list of cuts.

The Nationals would make it close again after scoring two runs in the fifth and a run in the sixth, but Detroit’s lead was too large to overcome. The Tigers would score three more runs over the final three innings, securing a 12-6 victory over the Nationals.

It was a frustrating day for Nationals’ pitchers, but it was a very impressive performance by Detroit’s offense as they scored 12 runs on 22 hits without hitting the ball out of the park.

The Nationals will continue their Grapefruit League schedule tomorrow against the Miami Marlins. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. EST.