Braves' left-hander Mike Minor retired the first six Nationals he faced this afternoon, but Nats' backstop Wilson Ramos started Washington's third with a single to right off Atlanta's starter. A walk to Brett Carroll followed to put two runners on with no one out. Edwin Jackson failed to get a bunt down, however, and eventually K'd looking before Ian Desmond got fooled by Minor too, for a second backwards K. Danny Espinosa's groundout then officially ended the threat and left today's game scoreless after three innings in Space Coast Stadium.
Nats' starter Edwin Jackson gave up a two-out walk and a two-out double in the first before popping Eric Hinske up to end the opening frame, and by the time he retired the Braves in order in the fourth he'd set 10 batters in a row down. In the top of the fifth though, Braves' center fielder Jason Heyward took the Nats' right-hander deep to center over a 35ft high batter's eye and over the wall which is 410ft from home according to the Nats' PR people via @AdamKilgoreWP. Leadoff blast. 1-0 Atlanta after four and a half when Jackson retires the next three batters in order to end the top of the inning. Minor pitched around a one-out walk in the bottom of the fifth and Edwin Jackson was quickly back on the hill in the sixth...
Jackson bounced back nicely from the Heyward HR in the fifth, retiring the next six batters he faced, including the three Braves he set down in top of the sixth. 16 of 17 retired for the Nats' right-hander after a little trouble in the first. Edwin Jackson's done after 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K's. And Jackson's in line for the win after Ryan Zimmerman hits a two-run HR to right and just over the wall!! THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! Two-run HR in the Nationals' 6th. Minor starts the inning by walking Danny Espinosa in front of Zimmerman, who gives the Nats' a 2-1 lead with his third HR of the Spring.
The Nationals chase Mike Minor with one down three batters later (after Jayson Werth K, an Adam LaRoche walk and a Xavier Nady single) and a one-out walk by Braves' reliever Cory Gearrin to Wilson Ramos gives Brett Carroll a bases-loaded opportunity the outfielder who will apparently make the Opening Day roster takes advantage of, tripling to right field and off the wall to drive in three runs. Carroll comes around too on a throw home that gets away from the Braves. Triple and an error, four runs score, 6-2 Nats after six innings of play.
Sean Burnett struggled with two down in the eighth, after Chad Durbin threw a scoreless seventh. The Nats' left-hander allowed a two-out ground-rule double, an RBI single and a two-out walk before popping Braves' infielder Josh Wilson up to end the eighth with the score 6-2 Washington. 6-3 Nats after Ryan Zimmerman throws away what should have been out no.3 for Brad Lidge in the ninth, but the Nationals' reliever gets the next batter out and the Nationals win, 6-3 final. BOX SCORE.