Washington Nationals/St. Louis Cardinals: Quick Game Wrap. Jordan Zimmermann Strong, Derek Norris Stronger...

Washington Nationals' right-hander Jordan Zimmermann was hit hard occasionally by the Cards in 3.0 scoreless innings on the mound but he held the St. Louis off the board while the Nats got out to an early 2-0 lead which came courtesy of a throwing error by Cards' catcher Yadier Molina on a Nyjer Morgan bunt that allowed Alberto Gonzalez to score from first after the General had singled off Cardinals' right-hander Brandon Dickson to start the Nats' third. Nationals' shortstop Ian Desmond followed with an RBI single which scored Morgan in the next at bat. 

The Cardinals got back-to-back one-out line drive singles in the first, but Zimmermann struck Mark Hamilton out and got a groundout to third from St. Louis' 2010 1st Rounder Zack Cox to end the inning. Skip Schumaker hit a line drive double in the Cards' second and Zimmermann issued a one-out walk before back-to-back groundouts ended the frame. In the third, the Nats' 24-year-old right-hander got a DP grounder after a one-out single back up the middle by Albert Pujols and completed his third scoreless to end his first outing of the Spring. Zimmermann's Line: 3.0 IP, 1 BB, 1 K, 5 GO/1 FO.

• With Garrett Mock on the hill for the Nationals in the fourth, things got ugly quickly when the right-hander struggled with his control yet again, but he may have been out of the inning anyway had it not been for two misplays in the infield. After surrendering a leadoff double to Zack Cox and throwing a wild pitch, Mock gave up a one-out walk to Skip Schumaker, but Michael Morse's throw home on a grounder by Ramon Vazquez in the next AB was off target and let the first run in without an out being recorded. 2-1 Nats. Another walk to Ryan Theriot loaded the bases and an error by Danny Espinosa on a grounder to second allowed the Cards to tie it so that the walk Mock issued to Albert Pujols forced in a run and put St. Louis ahead. 3-2. The single by Mark Hamilton that followed put the Cardinals up 5-2 and ended Mock's outing. Mock's Line: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 5 R, 1 ER, 3 BB. 

• The Nats roughed Ian Snell up in the sixth, with Rick Ankiel doubling over the wall in right in front of Pudge Rodriguez, Wilson Ramos and Ian Desmond who singled in succession off the former Pirates' prospect to put the Nats within one at 5-4 before the Cardinals took advantage of a two-out error by pitcher Shairon Martis, who dropped a toss from Michael Morse while covering first, and a miscommunication between second baseman Danny Espinosa and Bryce Harper in short right which allowed a pop fly to fall in for an untouched RBI single that made it 7-4.

Doug Slaten and Todd Coffey both threw scoreless innings in relief after Martis though Coffey said on Twitter (@ToddCoffey60) that he'll, "need to zone in a little more but it's early 2nd outing, getting ready for a 2011 nats playoff run!" Did he say playoffs? Behind the plate for both relievers after Pudge Rodriguez left the game was Derek Norris, the Nats' 22-year-old big league bat who hit his first HR of the Spring off 21-year-old Cards' right-hander Makiel Cleto to make it 7-5 St. Louis, which is how it would end. 

• Game Notes: Bryce Harper entered the game in the fifth and got two at bats in, grounding out to second in the seventh and flying out to left in the ninth for the final out of the game. Michael Morse was 0 for 4. Pudge Rodriguez was 2 for 3 with two singles. Wilson Ramos was 2 for 3 with a run scored and an RBI. 

• The Nationals will play the Braves tomorrow afternoon at 1:05 pm EST at home in Space Coast with Jason Marquis due to make his first start of the Spring, and as announced earlier this week, both Tom Gorzelanny and Chien-Ming Wang will see action against the Nats' minor leaguers. There's no radio coverage listed for the game at MLB.com, but Saturday's game with the Yankees has audio available and Sunday's game with the Braves will be on MASN.

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