Final: The Nationals beat the Cardinals, 8-4. Sean Burnett and Henry Rodriguez each pitched scoreless innings.
2:15: The Nationals had to pull Jordan Zimmermann with two outs in the fourth. After Zimmermann settled down in the second and third, his command faltered in the fourth. He walked Freese on five pitches to start the inning, then allowed a single by Matt Carpenter. Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa turned a double play, but Oscar Taveras scored Freese with a single. At 58 pitches, Zimmermann was finished. He allowed four runs on seven hits and a walk, the ugliest line any Nats starter has produced this spring. Matt Purke replaced him. It’s 4-3, St. Louis.
2:00, END 3: Ryan Zimmerman is laying waste to the Grapefruit League. After doubling in his first at-bat, Zimmerman hit an opposite-field homer off Shelby Miller that went clear out of Space Coast Stadium. Zimmerman is 7 for 11 with two home runs, three doubles and two walks this spring. His contract extension doesn’t seem to be hurting his production any. It’s tied at 3.
1:35, BOT 2: Jordan Zimmermann had a rough first inning in his second start. The Cardinals tagged four hits off him, including a three-run homer to right by David Freese. Adam LaRoche helped Zimmermann by fielding a grounder at first and firing home to Jesus Flores, who tagged Yadier Molina out. LaRoche didn’t exactly zip it, but the throw did the job. That was probably the biggest test for his shoulder.
Ian Desmond struck out swinging to start the bottom of the first. In his first at-bat back from a strained lat, Michael Morse drove in Ryan Zimmerman with a double to the left-center gap. Zimmerman had double to continue his locked-in spring: he’s 6 for 10 with five extra-base hits since signing his extension.
Zimmermann rebounded in the second, retiring the Cardinals in 11 pitches. Despite the struggles in the first, Zimmermann has pounded the strike zone, throwing 25 strikes in 31 pitches. He should still be able to make it through four innings.
Jesus Flores led off the second with a homer to right that rode the wind. It’s 3-2, Cardinals.