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Washington Nationals Drop Final Exhibition Game 4-2 To New York Yankees In Front Of 38,161

Right-hander Jordan Zimmermann's pitch count was high and he was out of the game relatively early in the Washington Nationals' 4-2 loss to the New York Yankees today in Nationals Park in the final exhibition game of the Spring before Monday's season opener with Miami.

Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

With two down in the first, New York Yankees' second baseman Robinson Cano doubled off the GEICO sign in center field in Washington, D.C.'s Nationals Park on the 10th pitch Nationals' right-hander Jordan Zimmermann threw this afternoon in the final exhibition game of the Spring. Zimmerman walked Kevin Youkilis in the at bat that followed, but the Nats had the defense aligned perfectly for Travis Hafner, who grounded out to Danny Espinosa on the outfield grass in right to end the top of the first. 0-0.

Bryce Harper singled with two down in the bottom of the first, bringing Ryan Zimmerman to plate, but the Nats' third baseman popped out to foul territory off first to end a 10-pitch frame by Andy Pettitte.

Jordan Zimmermann started the second at 18 pitches. He was up to 34 when he got well-traveled 34-year-old catcher Chris Stewart swinging to end the top of the inning, stranding Eduardo Nunez after the Yankees' infielder's two-out single. Danny Espinosa lined out to third to end a quick bottom of the second in which Andy Pettitte threw just 13 pitches, retiring the side in order for his second scoreless inning in the mound. Zimmermann needed just four pitches to get the first two outs of the third, and he got up 0-2 on Robinson Cano, who fouled two off before flying to left to end a nine-pitch frame. 43 pitches overall for Zimmermann after 3.0 IP.

The barrel of Wilson Ramos' bat buzzed Andy Pettitte on the mound on a sawed off groundout to second in the first at AB of the Nationals' third. One out later, Denard Span dumped a first pitch change into short left for a single and the Nats' second hit off Pettitte in 2.2 IP, but Jayson Werth K'd looking to end a 14-pitch inning that had the Yankees' veteran lefty at 37 overall after 3.0.

A 93 mph 1-2 fastball to Kevin Youkilis got New York on the board as the right-handed hitting former Red Sock sent Jordan Zimmermann's fourth pitch of the fourth into the left field bullpen. 1-0 Yankees. Ryan Zimmerman [no relation] backhanded a sharp grounder to third by Travis Hafner but bounced a throw to first a step or two too late to get Travis Hafner [who's kinda slow]. Vernon Wells doubled to left-center in the next at bat and there were runnners on second and third with no outs in NY's fourth. Jordan Zimmermann threw a two-strike slider by Lyle Overbay for out no.1 but Eduard Nunez drove in two runs with a single up the middle and then scored on a grounder to first as the Nats threw it around the infield and couldn't get the ball home to Wilson Ramos in time. Zimmermann's up to 69 pitches and done. 4-0 New York after three and a half...

Jordan Zimmermann's line: 3.1 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 Ks, 1 HR, 69 P, 49 S.

Zach Duke took over for Zimmermann and got two quick outs to end the top of the fourth in Nationals Park.

Ryan Zimmerman reached on a throwing error by Kevin Youkilis in the bottom of the fourth inning and scored one out later on an RBI single to center by Ian Desmond. 4-1 New York after four.

Robinson Cano lined a leadoff single over a leaping Desmond and into left to start the fifth. A fly to center from Kevin Youkilis and swinging K by Travis Hafner got Zach Duke two quick outs, but Vernon Wells singled to center to put two on with two down before a Lyle Overbay groundout ended the top of the inning. Wilson Ramos was the fifth National to strike out against Andy Pettitte in 4.1 IP. A fly to left by Steve Lombardozzi and a swinging K by Denard Span ended the bottom of the fifth with Pettite up to 69 pitches and the Yankees up 4-1.

Henry Rodriguez got a line drive to center with a 96 mph 0-2 heater after buckling Eduardo Nunez's knees with an 0-1 slider. Ryan Zimmerman got enough on a throw to first to get Chris Stewart for out no.2 of the Yankees' sixth after just five pitches by Rodriguez. The Nats' right-hander walked Brett Gardner with two down in a five-pitch at bat, and let him steal second without so much as a glance, but an Ichiro groundout to second ended New York's sixth.

Andy Pettitte was up to 73 pitches when he popped Jayson Werth up to start the Nats' sixth. Bryce Harper flew out to center for out no.2, but Ryan Zimmerman doubled to left on a first-pitch fastball from Pettitte and then scored on an Adam LaRoche RBI single that made it a 4-2 game after six in Nats Park.

Ryan Mattheus retired the Yankees in order in the top of the seventh in a quick, 12-pitch seventh. Joba Chamberlain threw a quick, 1-2-3 bottom of the inning, then Tyler Clippard came out to throw the eighth against the New York Yankees who originally selected the 28-year-old right-hander in the 9th Round of the '03 Draft before trading him to the Nats in 2007. A brutal 2-2 change from Clippard got Lyle Overbay guessing/swinging for out no.1 of the eighth and eventually struck out the side in a 17-pitch, 12-strike top of the frame. Yankees' righty Gil Velazquez got Denard Span, Roger Bernadina and Tyler Moore in order in the bottom of the eighth.

Drew Storen received a nice ovation from the D.C. Faithful as he took the mound in the top of the ninth. Melky Mesa, who made a nice diving play in center an inning earlier, singled to center with one down, but two outs later he was stranded on the basepaths at the end of a 21-pitch frame by the Nats' right-hander. Mariano Rivera came out for the save in the home-half of the inning. Chad Tracy took an 0-2 cutter outsider for out no.1. Adam LaRoche grounded out to first for out no.2. Will Rhymes grounded to short to end it. Yankees win. Thuh-uh-uh-uh, you get it...

Yankees 4-2 over the Nats.