Grounder. Desmond. Out. Grounder. Desmond. Out. The first two outs of this afternoon's game against the New York Mets were hit Ian Desmond's way, and the Nats' hard-luck shortstop fielded both and threw to first each time without incident. Nats' starter Chien-Ming Wang popped Jason Bay up behind first for out no.3 to end a quick, 14-pitch, 1-2-3 first. Desmond then started the Nats' half of the first with a line drive single to right. That's just the second hit of the Spring for the Nats' shortstop in 15 at bats. With Mark DeRosa at the plate, however, Desmond was caught stealing on a low laser of a throw to the second base bag by Mets' catcher Rob Johnson. Leadoff runner erased, DeRosa grounds out. Two down, but the Nationals rally with two outs and take an early lead.
Ryan Zimmerman started the two-out rally by doubling off the center field wall, taking Mets' knuckler R.A. Dickey deep. Zimmerman then scored from second on an opposite field RBI single by Adam LaRoche. It was LaRoche's first competitive at bat of the Spring as he continues to work his way back from surgery to repair a torn labrum and rotator cuff damage in his left shoulder. LaRoche took second on the Jayson Werth single that followed and both runners scored on an RBI double by Wilson Ramos. 3-0 Nationals all with two outs.
Chien-Ming Wang gave up back-to-back singles and a base-loading walk to start the second, but struck Mets' infielder Josh Satin out and had the DP grounder he wanted, but according to reports from the game, Nats' second baseman Mark DeRosa bobbled it and settled for the out at first as a run scored. 3-1 Nats. Mets' infielder Omar Quintanilla then singled in a second run before Wang managed to throw a two-strike sinker by NY outfielder Andres Torres to end a 28-pitch frame. 2-2 after one and a half. That was it for Wang: 2.0 IP, 3 hits, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K's, 42 pitches, 25 strikes. Wang ended up getting the win, however, as R.A. Dickey gave up a one-out single by Sandy Leon in the Nats' second, then made the mistake of issuing Mark DeRosa a two-out walk in front of Ryan Zimmerman, whose two-out, two-run double left him 2 for 2 with two doubles and made it 4-2 Nationals.
Craig Stammen replaced Wang, striking out four and giving up two hits in 3.0 scoreless innings of work. Brad Lidge's slider impressed the Mets' radio announcers as he got both Ike Davis and Mets' prospect Zack Lutz looking with backdoor benders for the first two outs of the sixth. Lidge's inning was extended slightly by an error on second baseman Jarret Hoffpauir, but he struck Josh Satin out with another slider to end the top of the sixth. Blake Kelso drove in a run and got doubled off first for an inning-ending DP in the sixth and the Nats added two more in the seventh on back-to-back doubles by Anthony Rendon and Tyler Moore. The eighth and final run of the game scored when Miguel Batista's wild pitch pitch allowed Moore to score from third. 8-2 after seven. Atahualpa Severino, Jeff Fulchino and Ryan Mattheus threw scoreless frames and the Nats got the ST Curly-W. BOX SCORE.
• Nationals 5, Tigers 5:
MEANWHILE...While the Nationals were beating up on the B-Mets, the B-Nats were in Lakeland, Florida's Joker Marchant Stadium taking on the Detroit Tigers. Nats' lefty John Lannan started for the traveling Nationals, giving up a solo HR by Brandon Inge and a two-out RBI single by Brennan Boesch in the first before returning in the second and surrendering a leadoff single in a scoreless frame. That was it for Lannan. 2.0 IP, 56 pitches, 4 hits, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K's. Nats' prospect Austin Bibens-Dirkx gave up a solo HR by Boesch in the fourth and Yunesky Maya gave up an RBI double by Delmon Young in the 5th. A bases-loaded wild pitch by Tigers' lefty Casey Crosby and an error by Prince Fielder on a Danny Espinosa grounder led to the Nationals' first two runs of the game in the 6th. Chad Tracy singled in the third run of that inning to make it 4-3 and a Corey Brown homer in the seventh tied it at 4-4 before a Andres Blanco blast in the eighth gave the Nationals the lead. 5-4. The Tigers tied it in the bottom of the frame, however, and that's how it ended, 5-5 after 10. BOX SCORE.