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Washington Nationals Lose 11-7 To Detroit Tigers In Ugly Spring Outing.

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Mar. 13, 2012; Melbourne, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Duane Below (64) pitches in the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Space Coast Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
Mar. 13, 2012; Melbourne, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Duane Below (64) pitches in the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Space Coast Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

• GG3B: After striking Austin Jackson out on three pitches and popping Brennan Boesch up for out no.2, Washington Nationals' right-hander Edwin Jackson started behind 3-0 to Detroit Tigers' third baseman Miguel Cabrera and lost the big slugger, issuing a two-out walk in the top of the first. Don Kelly, the Tigers' first baseman, then sent a two-out single to right extending Jackson's inning even further. Luckily, the 28-year-old Nats' right-hander has Ryan Zimmerman playing third base behind him this year as the former Gold Glove winning third baseman made a slick backhand play and a strong throw to first on a grounder to third by Ryan Raburn to end Jackson's first inning of work. Zimmerman helped Jackson out in the second too, starting a 5-4-3 DP to erase a leadoff walk in what ends up being a quick frame by the Nats' starter. 0-0 after one and a half...

• Fister Was On Fire: As Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler pointed out before today's game, Tigers' right-hander Doug Fister started the afternoon with 10.0 scoreless innings this Spring between Grapefruit League games and minor league outings. 5.0 of those innings, the one hit and one walk he's allowed thus far have come in games with the big league Tigers. Fister worked around a two-out error in today's game to strike out the side in the first. 11.0 scoreless. Jesus Flores collected the second hit of the Spring off Fister with one down in the Nationals' second, and an error by Tigers' left fielder Andy Dirks gave the Nationals an extra out in the inning which they took advantage of with Roger Bernadina driving in a run to break Fister's scoreless-Spring-inning streak at 11.2 IP. 1-0 Nationals. The second run scored on Fister this Spring follows quickly one out later with Ian Desmond driving in the Nationals' second run of the game. Fister still hasn't allowed an earned run though. 2-0 Nats after 2.

• Daily Harper Update: Bryce Harper K'd swinging in his first at bat against Doug Fister. The second time up the 19-year-old outfielder had runners on first and third with two down in what was then a 3-3 game. Harper K'd looking this time, taking a fastball inside. The young outfielder didn't like the call, but he didn't argue either. The strikeout leaves Harper 7 for 24 this Spring with a double, two walks and nine K's in the middle of his 10th game. AB no.3 of the day for Bryce Harper came in the fifth inning of what was then a 9-5 game (Don't ask. Okay, since you asked, Durbin got hit hard, giving up 5 hits and 5 runs in the top of the fifth to make it 9-3 Detroit, before Ryan Zimmermann and Jayson Werth hit back-to-back doubles in the bottom of the inning. Werth's two-bagger off Tigers' left-hander Duane Below drove in two runs to make it 9-5 Detroit.) The Nats' 19-year-old slugger took another called strike three in his third AB in the fifth. Below got Harper looking for the final out of the fifth. Harper's 7 for 25 with 10 K's after five innings this afternoon.

• Moore, Moore, Moore: Nats' 1B/OF prospect Tyler Moore connected for his first HR of the Spring to start the Nationals' sixth, taking the Tigers' left-hander Duane Below deep for an opposite field blast that made it a three-run game at 9-6 Detroit. In the last two seasons, Moore's hit a combined 62 home runs, with 31 in 129 games and 553 plate appearances for Class-A Potomac in 2010 and another 31 this past season in 137 games and 561 plate appearances at Double-A Harrisburg in 2011.

Jose Ortega vs Bryce Harper (Subtitled: "Harper Who?" - signed the Lombo Lobby"): Two on, 0 outs when Harper comes up for the fourth time today in the seventh, this time against 23-year-old Tigers' right-hander Jose Ortega, who pitched at Triple-A Toledo last season. Strike at the knees, 0-1. Harper fouls off a bender. 0-2. Swing and a miss, strike three. 4 K's in 4 at bats for Harper. Tyler Moore flies out, Roger Bernadina grounds out and a walk and a single to start the frame are wasted. Still 10-6 Tigers. Steve Lombardozzi, who flashed some leather making a slick play and a spinning throw to first on a sharp grounder in the seventh, starts the Nats' eighth with a bunt single, dropping a dribbler down the third base line with Tigers' third baseman Danny Worth playing him deep at third. No chance for Worth and Lombo lets everyone know once again why every scouting report on him notes his success doing all the little things. Lombardozzi's 1 for 2 on the day, 10 for 30 on the Spring after two at bats this afternoon. The Nats' infielder's stranded at second, however, and it's still 10-6 Tigers after seven.

• A Shot At Redemption: It was 11-6 Tigers when Bryce Harper came up for his 5th at bat of the game in the ninth. This time the Nats' 2010 no.1 overall pick was facing a side-winding left-hander Matt Hoffman, a 23-year-old who pitched at Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo last season. Harper came up with no runners on and two down after Hoffman struck out both Brett Carroll and Carlos Maldonado, and Harper crushed a double to center, over the Tigers' center fielder's head and off the wall for a two-out, two-base hit. 1 for 5 with a double for Harper sounds much better than 0 for 4 with 4 K's. Tyler Moore follows with an RBI double to left to make it 11-7, but that's as close as the Nationals get. Tigers win, 11-6 final.