Washington Nationals Recap: Dan Uggla Homers In Split Squad Action
By Ricky Keeler
Mar 16, 2015; Melbourne, FL, USA;Washington Nationals right fielder Michael Taylor (3) hits a triple to right field during the first inning a spring training baseball game against the Houston Astros at Space Coast Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Down in Orlando, the Nationals matched up against Eric Stults and were held off the scoreboard for the first four innings. However, the star of the day, Michael Taylor, managed to have productive at-bats against Stults.
Taylor led off the game with a double to center field and would single to left in the third inning after Jordan led off the inning with a base hit. It was a nice rebound for Taylor after the four strikeout performance he had against the Tigers on Friday.
In the third inning, after Jordan and Taylor’s singles and a Stultz wild pitch, Kevin Frandsen would drive in Jordan with a RBI groundout to shortstop. Then, Mike Carp would follow with a RBI single to center field to make it 2-0, Nationals.
As for Taylor Jordan, he was excellent this afternoon, even though Atlanta didn’t have many of their regulars due to their organization having a split squad today. Even with that being the case, Jordan gave up one hit in three innings (a single by Stults), walked one and struck out one.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Braves were able to get to reliever Evan Meek for three runs. After an Alberto Callaspo single and a Kelly Johnson double, Jonny Gomes would tie the score with a two-run single to center field. After a walk to A.J. Pierzynski, Todd Cunningham would give Atlanta the lead by scoring Gomes on a RBI single to right field.
After that third inning, Washington could not generate any offense as Atlanta’s bullpen trio of Michael Kohn, Juan Jaime, and Brandon Cunniff kept the Nats hitless for the final four innings of the game.
The Braves would tack on two more runs against Bruce Billings in the bottom of the seventh. With one out, Cedric Hunter would hit a single to center to score Jose Constanza. Two batters later, Atlants would extend the lead to 5-2 on a RBI groundout to shortstop by Callaspo.
In the loss, Casey Janssen and Blake Treinen threw one hitless inning each, with Janssen recording the lone strikeout.
The Nationals will be back in action Sunday afternoon against the Detroit Tigers in Lakeland at 1:05 PM ET. Justin Verlander will get the start for Detroit against A.J. Cole for Washington. Stephen Strasburg was supposed to make his fourth start of the spring, but was scratched by manager Matt Williams after spraining his left ankle. However, it doesn’t appear the injury is too serious:
"Williams said Strasburg’s ankle is just a little sore and he did not need a MRI. 2nd start missed for Strasburg this spring. #Nats"
— Chris Johnson (@masnCJ) March 21, 2015
Next: Why Bryce Harper Should Fill-In For Span In CF