Detwiler impressive in start versus Braves

Ross Detwiler proved on Sunday that, while Tom Gorzelanny holds the upper hand in the race for the Nationals’ fifth starter job, and Chien-Ming Wang would get a clear shot at it if he could get himself healthy, it is Detwiler who remains the most intriguing rotation candidate in this camp. The lefty struck out five batters, including his last four in a row, during a three-inning stint against the Atlanta Braves, allowing only one hit and an unearned run.

Detwiler, who also turned 25 today, allowed only one hard-hit ball -- a double into the gap in right-center by Alex Gonzalez, which turned into an out when a Nyjer Morgan-Danny Espinosa-Wilson Ramos relay nailed Jason Heyward at the plate trying to score from first. Gonzalez later scored on an error by Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond, who threw wildly past first baseman Michael Aubrey. (Can’t blame that one on Adam Dunn, can we?)

I’ll have more on Detwiler after speaking with him in a little while.

UPDATE, 3:55 p.m.: Detwiler said he continues to grow more comfortable with his new delivery, citing as the biggest difference his ability to pound fastballs inside to hitters.

“I remember a few times last year trying to throw an inside fastball and leaving it over the plate, and it’s either a home run or it’s in the gap or something,” he said. “So I think I’m really able to drive the ball inside now.”

Dave Sheinin has been covering baseball and writing features and enterprise stories for The Washington Post since 1999.

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