Washington Nationals Drop 6-3 Decision To Detroit Tigers, Ryan Zimmerman Shines In Loss.

Mar. 13, 2012; Melbourne, FL, USA; Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11) throws to first after fielding a ground ball as Edwin Jackson (33) looks on in the second inning against the Detroit Tigers at Space Coast Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

• Start no.3 of the Spring for 28-year-old Washington Nationals' starter Edwin Jackson began with the 6'3'', right-hander popping Detroit Tigers' center fielder Austin Jackson up on the first pitch of the game. 26-year-old Tigers' outfielder Andy Dirks worked the count full before K'ing swinging at a filthy slider from Jackson, who got a fly ball to left from Tigers' right fielder Clete Thomas that left fielder Jason Michaels... dropped. GIven an extra out, the Tigers took advantage with infielder Ryan Raburn launching a two out, two-run HR to left. Two unearned runs, 2-0 Detroit after a half an inning in Viera, Florida's Space Coast Stadium...

• Apparently it's not just Jason Michaels having trouble with the sun in the outfield in Space Coast Stadium. Michaels' teammate Ian Desmond led off in the Nats' first with an opposite field blast to right that appeared to clear the wall, but it actually fell on the track and Tigers' right fielder Clete Thomas almost cost Desmond coasting into second since he thought he'd hit a HR. The Nats' shortstop was hustling, however, on a high hopper up the middle off Danny Espinosa's bat, which put runners on first and third when the Nats' second baseman legged out an infield single, and Desmond scored on a sac fly to right by Ryan Zimmerman that cut the Tigers' lead in half. 2-1 game after one...

• Edwin Jackson retired the Tigers in order in his second inning of work this evening. After Wilson Ramos powered a grounder through the right side of the infield to start the Nationals' second, Tigers' lefty Duane Below got a pop out and two forces at second to bring Edwin Jackson quickly back out to the mound for the third. The Nats' Jackson gave up a one-out single by the Tigers' Austin Jackson when the pitcher left a 3-2 slider up in the zone. Andy Dirks followed with the second of two back-to-back one-out singles off the Nats' starter and Clete Thomas got the third hit in a row with an RBI line drive to center on a backdoor slider that stayed up outside for the batter to drive. 3-1 Tigers when Austin Jackson scores.

• The Washington Nationals' $126M dollar third baseman Ryan Zimmerman hit a one-out inside-out double to the right-center gap in the Nationals' third. Zim's double was his fourth of the Spring to go along with two home runs, leaving him 8 for 13 so far in Grapefruit League action. After Michael Morse's weak groundout, both Mark DeRosa and Jayson Werth worked patient two-out walks out of the Tigers' lefty and chased Duane Below from the game. Another lefty, Adam Wilk, replaced Below on the mound and ended the inning when he threw Wilson Ramos out on a weak grounder down the third base line. 3-1 Tigers after three.

• Edwin Jackson walked Jhonny Peralta in the Tigers' fourth, then issued his second walk of the game to Detroit third baseman Don Kelly. A bad hop kept Ian Desmond from turning a DP himself on a grounder up the middle by Tigers' 1B Ryan Streiby, so a bloop single by Gerard Laird in the next at bat scored Peralta from third and ended Edwin Jackson's night. 3.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K's, 64 P [unofficial count].

• Ryan Zimmerman tried to barehand a hard-hit bunt toward third by Clete Thomas in the Tigers' fifth, but the former Gold Glove winning third baseman came up empty when it bounced off his hand. A wild pitch by Nats' lefty Ross Detwiler got far enough away from Wilson Ramos that Thomas was able to take third and then score on a single up the middle by Ryan Raburn. 5-1 Tigers. Zimmerman got it right one batter later. With runners on first and second after another single by Jhonny Peralta, Zimmerman jumped all over a sac bunt attempt by Tigers' infielder Don Kelly and made a long, looping sidearm throw to second to get the force and set up a potential double play. Detwiler didn't get the double play, but he got out of the inning without further damage.

• Asked about the throw to second on the bunt attempt during his visit with MASN's announcers during the game, Ryan Zimmerman said, "Well, the first guy in the inning, [Clete Thomas], we played each other in college, he was at Auburn, but he's hitting third tonight so I was thinking he's going to swing and he drops one down on me so, I don't like letting people bunt on me so I said, 'If this guy [Don Kelly is] going to bunt, I'm going to get up there and get it and get this guy at second just so they know they can't bunt on me." Don't bunt on Zim. Got it. The third baseman then said that it's something they've actually worked on this Spring. "Davey [Johnson] and Eck [Hitting Coach Rick Eckstein] and all those guys were like, 'Hey, if it's bunted hard, you can get the guy at second a lot easier than you can get the guy at third, Now you have the double play set up. So it kind of takes away the point of their bunt which is what you want to do anyway."

• Jayson Werth took Tigers' RHP Jose Valverde deep to right for an opposite field blast to lead off the Nationals' sixth. Werth's second HR of the Spring made it a 5-2 game after six. In the seventh, the Nats added a run when Chad Tracy hit a bases loaded sac fly to center to score Steve Lombardozzi. 5-3. A two-out RBI triple by Tigers' outfielder Andy Dirks in the top of the eighth made it 6-3 Detroit. That's how it ended. BOX SCORE.

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