Nationals Spring Training Report: 3/3-3/7

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Photo: @masnNationals

By Michael Marzzacco

Spring has sprung, at least in Florida that is. The Nationals are well underway preparing for the regular season just under a month from now. Here’s what happened over the weekend and during the Nats’ game on Tuesday against the Red Sox.

March 3rd: Split Squad vs. Cardinals and at Marlins

Cardinals 2, Nationals 1: Stephen Strasburg made his Spring Training debut on Friday on the home side of the split squad affair. Strasburg threw a pair of scoreless innings with three strikeouts.

After an elbow injury last year, Strasburg has worked on his pitching mechanics and delivery over the offseason.

Michael Wacha pitched for the Cardinals and went three scoreless innings surrendering just three hits and a walk. He struck out two.

Trailing 1-0 an RBI single into right field by Trea Turner scored Michael Taylor to knot the score at 1. The game would remain that way until the 10th inning when an RBI single by Alberto Rosario gave the Cardinals a 2-1 lead and the eventual win by that score.

Nationals 8, Marlins 5: Adam Lind got the Nationals on the board in the first with a line drive single into right field that scored Adam Eaton. After the Marlins jumped out to a 4-1 lead, Washington mounted a comeback beginning in the sixth. An RBI single by Osvaldo Abreu singled home Brandon Snyder to make it a 4-2 game. In the seventh, with two on, Ian Sagdal singled home Wilmer Difo with a base hit into right field. Corban Joseph advanced to third. Victor Robles got hit by a pitch to load the bases. Kelvi Gutierrez followed with a single to score Joseph that tied the game at 4. Jhonatan Solano would then give the Nationals the lead with a single into right field that scored Sagdal and Robles. In the eighth the Nats added two more runs with a sac fly by Joseph that scored Jeyner Baez. With Difo on as well, Sagdal doubled into right field to bring him home for the Nats’final run.

March 4th at Cardinals

Nationals 1, Cardinals 1: Gio Gonzalez went three scoreless innings in his second start of the spring allowing one hit and one walk at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter. Both baserunners wouldn’t last very long as Gio helped induce two double plays.

Washington scored their lone run with an RBI groundout in the top of the third by Grant Green that scored Wilmer Difo. The Cardinals would tie it in the bottom of the ninth on a homer by Patrick Wisdom.

March 5th vs. Twins

Twins 4, Nationals 2: Tanner Roark, in his start before going to represent Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, went four innings striking out three while giving up two hits on 57 pitches. He will start for USA’s game on Saturday against the Dominican Republic. His teammate Daniel Murphy will also be representing Team USA. Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the 7th, Michael Taylor smacked an RBI double to left field to score Rafael Bautista. The Nats took the lead when Pedro Severino singled on a sharp ground ball to shortstop Engelb Vielma that was deflected by third baseman Leonardo Reginatto that scored Taylor. The Twins tied the game in the top of the eighth with a wild pitch by Sammy Solis and took the lead for good with a two-run homer by Matt Hague.

March 7th vs. Red Sox

Red Sox 5, Nationals 3: The Red Sox took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. In the bottom of the frame, Anthony Rendon smacked a double to the left field wall that scored Bryce Harper.

Wilmer Difo tied the game with a double that scored Derek Norris. Koda Glover, a legitimate candidate for closer, struck out all three batters he faced in the sixth inning.

In the top of the seventh, Jose Lobaton caught Blake Swihard stealing while relief pitcher Austin Adams struck out Josh Retledge. The Nats scored their final run of the game in bottom of the seventh with a bases loaded walk to Drew Ward.

Prior to the game at one of the practice fields, Max Scherzer threw a live batting practice session.

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