PREGAME: The Nationals play their first home spring training game in Viera. Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche make their spring debuts in right field and first base, respectively. And Kurt Suzuki starts at catcher in his most extensive action so far. The lineups are here. Dan Haren takes the mound for his first start.
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The Nationals fall to the Marlins, 5-1. It was an eventful game for the minor things: Dan Haren’s debut, and Adam LaRoche and Jayson Werth’s first appearances. Carlos Rivero had the lone RBI. The Nationals, by the way, are now 1-3-1 in spring training. But you can ignore the significance of that record.
END 8: Carlos Rivero plated the only Nationals run so far with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning, scoring Matt Skole who reached when he walked. Hard-throwing right-hander Erik Davis also looked sharp in relief, allowing only one hit over 1 1/3 innings. Drew Storen is on to pitch the ninth. Marlins lead, 5-1.
END 7: Tanner Roark struggled and allowed three runs in the top of the seventh inning to give the Marlins a 5-0 lead. With two on, right-hander Erik Davis came on and notched two outs to end further damage. The Nationals again have mustered little on offense. No runner has advanced past first base. Marlins 5-0.
END 6: Righty Tanner Roark, who the Nationals believe can provide pitching depth in the minors this season, came on in the sixth inning to relieve lefty Fernando Abad. Roark allowed one run on two hits and walked a batter to give the Marlins a 2-0 lead.
END 5: All three players started and after playing five innings are done for the day. All three finished 0 for 2. But don’t worry at all: it’s spring training, it’s early and all three are easing into action.
Lefty Fernando Abad pitched a scoreless fourth. Marlins still lead, 1-0.
END 4: Both players made their spring training debuts today and haven’t yet made an impact with a bat. It’s early in the spring so do not read too much into it. Werth struck out looking after a long first at-bat and struck out in his second at-bat. Werth likes to see a lot of pitches and track them in the spring so it’s not surprising. LaRoche lined out to left field and struck out in his second at-bat.
Craig Stammen looked sharper, pitching a scoreless two innings in relief of Dan Haren and struck out three batters. Fernando Abad is on to pitch the top of the fifth inning. Marlins still lead, 1-0.
END 3: The Nationals have been unable to muster anything more than one hit per inning against the Marlins. Steve Lombardozzi reached on a single with one out in the third inning but didn’t score. Denard Span is the only other National to reach base. Marlins lead, 1-0.
END 2: The starter pitched two innings, allowed one run on two hits, struck out three batters and walked none. He threw 35 pitches, 24 of them strikes. Reliever Craig Stammen came on to pitch the third inning.
MID 2: After a shaky start, Dan Haren looked far more comfortable in the second frame against the bottom of the Marlins order. He got a leadoff ground out and then struck out Kyle Skipworth and Gorkys Hernandez looking. With location, Haren kept the hitters off balance and they looked uncomfortable with awkward swings. Marlins, 1-0.
END 1: Denard Span worked a leadoff walk to start the first inning against Marlins right-hander Nathan Eovaldi. But Bryce Harper struck out swinging and then after a long at-bat Jayson Werth struck out looking and Span was caught stealing in the same play. Marlins lead, 1-0.
MID 1: The Nationals’ new right-handed starter suffered a shaky first inning in his spring training debut. He allowed a triple to Christian Yelich on the second pitch of the game and then a run on a flyout by the next batter. He allowed one more hit, a single, and then made an uncharacteristic error on a grounder back to him on the mound. (The back-handed throw to first base wasn’t in time.) Haren threw 20 pitches, 14 of them for strikes. Marlins lead, 1-0.