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Nationals spring training live blog, Nationals at Marlins

Adam Kilgore
Copyright 2011
Wednesday, March 9, 2011; 3:41 PM

Top 7, 3:05: The Nats are running away from the Marlins now. It was 7-0 after Chris Marrero singled to center and scored Espinosa. New third base coach Bo Porter has been aggressive this spring, and he made an aggressive send by having Espinosa test Dewayne Wise's arm. The throw bounced off the dirt, and Marrero wound up on second. And now Marrero has made it 8-0. Bryce Harper pinch hit and laced a single to right to score him. Top 7, 2:55 Jim Riggleman often talks about bunting to "put pressure on the defense," and that just worked. With Brian Bixler and Alberto Gonzalez on first and second after a pair of singles, Roger Bernadina dropped down a sac bunt. His speed forced an errant throw, and Bixler wheeled around to score and put the Nats up 4-0. They lead 5-0 now after Danny Espinosa's third hit of the day, a single, scored Gonzalez and sent Bernadina first to third. ... And hold on, Laynce Nix scored Bernadina with a shallow sac fly to left. 6-0, Nats. Bot 6, 2:32: Todd Coffey continued his own excellent start to spring, striking out the side in the fifth. He's pitched four scoreless innings this spring, allowing one hit. The Nats went quietly before making some substitutions. Chris Marrero, in at first for Adam LaRoche, received a cheer upon being introduced; he's from nearby. Craig Stammen is in for Coffey. Mid 5, 2:25: Danny Espinosa gave the Nats a 3-0 with a two-run, two-out home run to left field. (He was batting right-handed against lefty Mike Dunn.) Espinosa is 2 for 2 with a home run, a double, an HBP and three RBI. Todd Coffey is the new Nats pitcher. Marquis threw 42 pitches. End 4, 2:15: Jason Marquis has breezed through four innings, having allowed no runs on two hits and a walk. He finished with a 1-2-3 innings, three groundballs. Marquis is off to a great start, having surrendered no runs in his first seven innings. The Nats still lead, 1-0, and Michael Morse is 2 for 2, hitting .455 for the spring. Mid 3, 1:53: The Nats took a 1-0 lead on doubles by Alberto Gonzalez and Danny Espinosa, both to the left-center gap. (Espinosa hit his while batting left-handed.) Roger Bernadina struck out for the second time, while Laynce Nix and Adam LaRoche grounded out. End 2, 1:40 Jason Marquis rolled through the second. After a leadoff walk to John Buck, Marquis struck out Wes Helms swinging and got a 4-6-3 double play out of John Baker. Mid 2, 1:35 The Nats turned Morse's double into a pile of nothing after a pair of interesting defensive plays by Hanley Ramirez. He went to third when Matt Stairs grounded to short and Ramirez made a throw wide of third base trying to nab him. With Stairs safe on first, Ivan Rodriguez grounded to short. Ramirez had time to look Morse back to third before flipping to second and starting a 6-4-3 double play. Alex Cora grounded out to end the inning. Top 2, 1:26: Nice first inning for Jason Marquis. He gave up a one-out double to Omar Infante to left-center, on which Roger Bernadina took a strange route. Michael Morse made a nice play on a sinking line drive, and Marquis got out of the inning with groundouts from Hanley Ramirez and Logan Morrison. And Michael Morse has led off the second with a double to right-center. He just beat the tag with a nice slide. Mid 1, 1:17: Vazquez set the Nats down with little trouble in the first. He struck out Roger Bernadina, drilled Danny Espinosa (who fouled away a bunt attempt), struck out Laynce Nix and induced a grounder to second from Adam LaRoche. 12:51: The wind is blowing out here at Roger Dean Stadium about 10 minutes before first pitch. Javier Vazquez, a pitcher the Nats showed a small amount of interest in this winter, will start for the Marlins. And here's the Nationals' lineup: 1. Roger Bernadina, CF 2. Danny Espinosa, 2B 3. Laynce Nix, RF 4. Adam LaRoche, 1B 5. Michael Morse, LF 6. Matt Stairs, DH 7. Ivan Rodriguez, C 8. Alex Cora, SS 9. Alberto Gonzalez, 3B -- Jason Marquis, SP

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