The Washington Nationals (3-3) lost their third straight game in Spring Training to the Maimi Marlins (4-2) on Tuesday 2-1 and it came in walk-off fashion. The Marlins won the game on a solo home run to center field by Derek Dietrich in the bottom of the ninth inning against reliever Bruce Billings. For the second straight day, Washington managed to put only one run on the board.
Max Scherzer got his second start of the spring today and pitched well. In three innings (47 pitches), he gave up one run on six hits (all singles) and struck out three. All in all, Scherzer seemed to be pleased with this outing:
In the bottom of the first inning, the Marlins were able to manufacture a run with help from one of their main offseason acquisitions, Dee Gordon. Gordon led off the inning with a bunt single, stole second, and then reached third base on a Scherzer wild pitch. With Gordon on third, Christian Yelich would drive him in with a RBI single to center field.
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Washington did struggle to get any offense going against Dan Haren, who gave up one hit in three innings and struck out three. The only hit that Haren gave up came in the top of the third inning when Danny Espinosa hit a one-out double to center. However, Jeff Kobernus and Michael Taylor would strike out to end the scoring opportunity.
The Nationals did tie the game in the top of the sixth inning as an ex-Marlin was the one that did the damage. After Mike Carp was hit by a pitch by closer Steve Cishek, Dan Uggla would drive in Kila Ka’aihue (who pinch ran for Carp) with a RBI double to center.
As far as relief pitching went, the pitchers behind Scherzer were able to keep Miami off the board, with the exception of Billings. Taylor Jordan, Jerry Blevins, Heath Bell and Rafael Martin gave up a combined four hits, walked one (Jordan), and struck out three.
Bell, another former Marlin, threw a scoreless seventh inning and struck out Reed Johnson. Bell now has four strikeouts and has not given up a hit in his first two spring appearances.
The Nationals will look to snap their spring slide on Wednesday afternoon in Viera against the Detroit Tigers. The game will be at 1:05 PM ET and televised on MASN. Jordan Zimmermann will make his second start of the spring against Detroit’s new ace, David Price. Nats closer Drew Storen is also scheduled to pitch tomorrow.
The team also made news on Tuesday as they assigned reliever Matt Purke to minor league camp, according to the team’s Twitter. Purke, who had Tommy John surgery last May, did not appear in any of the six games this spring.