On Wednesday afternoon, the Washington Nationals played their second consecutive spring road game when they faced the Miami Marlins in Jupiter, Florida. Despite Doug Fister giving up six hits to the Marlins in his third start of the spring, he was able to avoid further damage by inducing double plays in timely situations. Plus, two of the Nationals non-roster invitees continued to drive in runs on offense. However, the Marlins were able to come back in the late innings to win the game 5-4, a game that included a home run from their superstar player.
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It was the Marlins who got the scoring started in the bottom of the second inning against Fister. With Martin Prado on third and Jarrod Saltalamacchia on first with one out (both had singles in the inning), Adeiny Hechavarria hit a RBI single to left field that scored Prado and made it 1-0. However, with this being the first game where the pitcher bats, Fister got Matt Latos to bunt into a rather unconventional 2-5-4 double play to escape any further trouble.
The Marlins would tack on one more run in the bottom of the third when Giancarlo Stanton hit a single to center to score Dee Gordon, who led off the inning with a double. Fister would get out of trouble by inducing an inning ending double play off the bat of Michael Morse. All things considered, Fister had a solid game going up against the Marlins’ likely Opening Day lineup. He went four innings, gave up two runs on six hits, and struck out one on 57 pitches.
After not getting a hit against Miami starter Mat Latos in the first three innings, Washington got their scoring underway in the fourth. After a leadoff single and stolen base by Michael Taylor, Dan Uggla hurt his old team with a ground-rule double to center to cut the deficit in half. It was Uggla’s fourth RBI of the spring. After Uggla stole third, Ryan Zimmerman would tie the game with a RBI groundout to shortstop.
In the following inning, Clint Robinson continued his hot spring by leading off against Sam Dyson with a home right to right field to give the Nats a 3-2 lead. It was Robinson’s second home run and tenth hit of the spring. However, the lead would not last long.
Miami would win the game in the bottom of the eighth against reliever Blake Treinen after Heath Bell threw a scoreless seventh. With two outs and runners on second and third, Jhonathan Solano would single to center and score Donovan Solano. Reed Johnson would follow up with a RBI single of his own to left to extend the lead to 5-3.
Even though the Nationals comeback would fall short, they did cut the deficit to one in the top of the ninth when Matt Skole hit his first home run of the spring to center to leadoff the inning against Andrew McKirahan.
The Nationals will be back in Viera on Thursday afternoon when they take on the Detroit Tigers for the second time in three days at 1:05 PM ET. Anibal Sanchez will make the start for Detroit against a starter yet to be determined for the Nats.