Nationals announce earlier spring training game schedule

Jonathan Newton/WP

The Nationals released Friday their 2013 spring training game schedule. The defending National League East champions are scheduled to play their first game on Feb. 23 against the New York Mets at Port St. Lucie, Fla. and their first home game on Feb. 24 at home atĀ Space Coast StadiumĀ in Viera, Fla. against the Miami Marlins. The games are earlier than normal because of the World Baseball Classic, the first round of which will start March 2, and the finals are from March 17 through 19 in San Francisco.

Last season, the Nationals’ first exhibition game was March 1 against Georgetown University and first spring training game a day later versus the Astros. During the 2013 spring training, the Nationals will play 32 games in the Grapefruit League, including 15 at home. The Nationals will play games against the American League champion Detroit Tigers and the St. Louis Cardinals, who toppled the Nationals in the NLDS. Times for the games have not yet been announced, nor the report dates for camp. (This could also be the Nationals’ final spring training in Viera, as they have long wanted to move.)

Spring training season ticket go on sale on Monday at 10 a.m. at the following website. Individual game tickets aren’t available until Jan. 19.

NATIONALS 2013 GRAPEFRUIT LEAGUE SCHEDULE (home games in BOLD)

February 23, Saturday vs. New York Mets at Port St. Lucie, Fla.

February 24, Sunday vs. Miami Marlins at Viera, Fla.

February 25, Monday vs. New York Mets at Port St. Lucie, Fla.

February 26, Tuesday vs. Atlanta Braves at Orlando, Fla.

February 27, Wednesday vs. Miami Marlins at Viera, Fla.

February 28, Thursday vs. New York Mets at Viera, Fla.

March 1, Friday vs. Atlanta Braves at Orlando, Fla.

March 2, Saturday vs. St. Louis Cardinals at Jupiter, Fla.

March 3, Sunday vs. St. Louis Cardinals at Viera, Fla.

March 5, Tuesday vs. Houston Astros at Viera, Fla.

March 6, Wednesday vs. Philadelphia Phillies at Clearwater, Fla.

March 7, Thursday vs. Houston Astros at Kissimmee, Fla.

March 8, Friday vs. St. Louis Cardinals at Viera, Fla.

March 9, Saturday vs. Miami Marlins (split squad) at Viera, Fla.

March 10, Sunday vs. Detroit Tigers at Lakeland, Fla.

March 11, Monday vs. Atlanta Braves at Viera, Fla.

March 13, Wednesday vs. New York Mets at Viera, Fla.

March 13, Wednesday vs. Houston Astros at Kissimmee, Fla.

March 14, Thursday vs. Houston Astros at Viera, Fla.

March 15, Friday vs. St. Louis Cardinals at Jupiter, Fla.

March 16, Saturday vs. Houston Astros at Viera, Fla.

March 17, Sunday vs. Detroit Tigers at Lakeland, Fla.

March 18, Monday vs. Detroit Tigers at Viera, Fla.

March 20, Wednesday vs. Miami Marlins at Jupiter, Fla.

March 21, Thursday vs. Atlanta Braves at Orlando, Fla.

March 22, Friday vs. Detroit Tigers at Viera, Fla.

March 23, Saturday vs. New York Mets at Port St. Lucie, Fla.

March 24, Sunday vs. Atlanta Braves at Viera, Fla.

March 25, Monday vs. Houston Astros at Kissimmee, Fla.

March 26, Tuesday vs. Miami Marlins at Jupiter, Fla.

March 27, Wednesday vs. St. Louis Cardinals at Jupiter, Fla.

March 28, Thursday vs. New York Mets at Viera, Fla.

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