Split squad game number two didn’t go quite as well for the Nationals, but it was still a pretty good showing. Here are the highlights:
- John Lannan had a rough day, giving up two earned in two innings. He did strike out Prince Fielder though. His final line: 2 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 4 K, 56 pitches.
- Austin Bibens-Dirkx, Yunesky Maya, and Rafael Martin all gave up one run, each pitching 2 innings. Tyler Clippard and Ryan Perry had scoreless innings.
- Roger Bernadina, Eury Perez, Danny Espinosa all had singles off Justin Verlander, though none of them scored. He pitched four scoreless, striking out four Nats.
- Danny Espinosa would single again in the sixth inning off wild Tigers pitcher Casey Crosby, walks to Destin Hood and Eury Perez allowed the Nats to score three in the sixth, bringing them from down 4-0 to 4-3.
- In the seventh, Corey Brown homered to left off Tigers closer Jose Valverde, tying the game at four. Brown is now hitting .385. Andres Blanco homered off Joaquin Benoit in the eighth to put the Nats up by one.
- Rafael Martin sawed off Prince Fielder in the eighth, but allowed back-to-back doubles, tying the game at five.
- Eury Perez and Jeff Kobernus would single in the ninth, but unfortunately Carlos Maldonado was the one running for the plate, and was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.
- No more noise was made in the bottom of the ninth or extras and the game ended tied at five, the Nats second tie of the Spring.
The Nats got the bats going again in this one, with a lot of the young guys getting involved. Jeff Kobernus and Justin Bloxom got hits, Destin Hood walked, Danny Espinosa and Eury Perez went 2 for 3, and Corey Brown and Andres Blanco homers were key. An encouraging sign for some future Nationals. Personally I’ve been very impressed with Eury Perez this spring, he’s batting .500.
Tomorrow the Nationals squad is back together, they’ll travel to play the Cardinals at 1:05 EST. The game can be heard on MLB.com Gameday Audio on the Cardinals radio network KMOX. The lineup will be as follows:
Gio Gonzales will pitch for the Nationals, looking to continue the success he had first time out, when his fastball touched 95 and he pitched 3 scoreless. Fun day for the Nats!