Nats Tie Marlins in Spring Opener

Posted by Dave Nichols | Thursday, February 28, 2008 | , | 0 comments »

Jupiter, FL--The Washington Nationals pushed a run across in the top of the ninth to tie the Florida Marlins in both teams spring training opener Wednesday night, 3-3. Camp invitee Pete Orr drove in the tying run on a bases loaded infield hit. Wily Mo Pena and Alex Escobar drove in the other two runs. Other offensive highlights included two hits and two steals for center fielder Lastings Milledge. The biggest news was that Nick Johnson, returning from his broken femur of 2006, played first base and had two at bats, finishing 0-1 with a hit by pitch.

Matt Chico started and pitched two scoreless innings, allowing one hit and one walk. However, he threw only 16 of his 32 pitches for strikes. Garrett Mock followed and allowed an unearned run on two hits, striking out two in two innings. Rob Bell was pushed around in his two innings as he surrendered two runs on three hits, giving up Mike Jacobs' home run. Joel Hanrahan, Chris Schroder and Brain Sanches were each unscathed in their one inning, with Schroder striking out the side.

The Nationals continue Grapefruit League play Friday with a match-up in Viera, FL against these same Marlins.

On Thursday, the Nats played an exhibition against Georgetown University. The Nats defeated GU 16-0 on a very windy day at Space Coast Stadium. Very few players from the 40-man roster took part in the exhibition, as the Nats pounded the Hoyas for 16 runs and 17 hits. Jason Bergmann, Josh Smoker, Colin Balestar, Mike Hinckley and Bobbie Brownlie combined on the 4-hit shutout. Balester was the star, striking out five in two inning of work.

Article also posted at DC Sports Box
Photo Courtesy of Al Santos, DC Sports Box