St. Louis Cardinals' second baseman Matt Carpenter lined to center for a one-out single off Washington Nationals' starter Jordan Zimmermann in the top of the first inning of today's Grapefruit League game in Viera, Florida's Space Coast Stadium. Zimmermann's eighth pitch of the first induced a grounder to short and Nats' shortstop Ian Desmond started a 6-4-3 inning-ending DP for a quick opening frame in the Nationals' 26-year-old right-hander's third start of the Spring. Nats' second baseman Danny Espinosa, the middle man in the previous inning's 6-4-3, doubled to center and off the base of the center field wall to start the Nationals' first with his 9th hit in 26 Spring Training at bats. Espinosa took third on a Jayson Werth groundout to second and Nats' left fielder Bryce Harper worked an eleven-pitch at bat against Cards' right-hander Shelby Miller before he struck out swinging, leaving him 9 for 22 so far this Spring and Ryan Zimmerman flew to center to strand Espinosa at third. 0-0 after one.
Jordan Zimmermann "missed" with a 3-2 pitch inside to David Freese, walking the first Cardinal he faced in the second after starting up 0-2 on the St. Louis' third baseman. Cards' CF Shane Robinson lined to center for the second hit off the Nats' right-hander. A groundout to the mound by Justin Christian moved both runners up and a Rob Johnson groundout to short scored the Cardinals' first run. 1-0 St. Louis early. A two-out single by Ronny Cedeno brought the Shane Robinson around to make it 2-0 Cards in the second before Zimmermann got infielder Greg Garcia looking to end the top of the frame. 31 pitches, 19 strikes in 2.0 IP after a 23-pitch frame. Cards' starter Shelby Miller got three quick groundouts in the Nats' second and Zimmermann was quickly back on the mound.
The Nationals' starter's 32nd pitch of the game was sent by a diving Adam LaRoche at first and into right for a leadoff double by Cards' outfielder Adron Chambers. Matt Carpenter hit the second of back-to-back doubles in the next at bat to bring Chambers around for a 3-0 Cards' lead. Allen Craig lined to right to bring Carpenter in and make it 4-0 and David Freese lined to right-center for the fourth-straight hit to start the third. 1st and 3rd. A walk to Shane Robinson loaded the bases with no one out, and Zimmermann got the first out of the inning without a run scoring when Justin Christian popped up to the infield, but a one-out double to right by Rob Johnson brought in two more runs to make it 6-0 St. Louis with one down in the third. Ronny Cedeno popped to second for out no.2, but a pop to short left fell in for another Cards' hit and two more runs scored to make it 8-0 St. Louis before for Zimmermann got out no.3. 61 pitches for Zimmermann in 3.0 IP acc to Twitter.
Wilson Ramos singled to center to start the Nationals' third, then took third base on a ball in the dirt with Danny Espinosa up after Chad Tracy walked. First and third for the Nats' second baseman, but Espinosa popped up to the infield. Cards' starter Shelby Miller got a pop to right from Jayson Werth that wasn't deep enough for Ramos to tag up, but Bryce Harper came through with a two-out, two-run triple that made it an 8-2 game and left the 20-year-old Nats' outfielder 1 for 2 today and 10 for 23 on the Spring.
Rafael Soriano took over in the top of the fourth, giving up a leadoff double by Matt Carpenter in the first at bat of the frame. Groundouts to second and third followed, and a backwards K from Cards' outfielder Shane Robinson stranded his teammate at third three outs after the leadoff hit. Still 8-2 St. Louis. Cards' lefty Kevin Siegrist got a broken-bat grounder back to the mound from Adam LaRoche to start the Nats' fourth. 0 for 2 today for LaRoche, 1 for 11 so far this Spring. Ian Desmond walked with one down, but Tyler Moore popped up to the infield and Jhonatan Solano flew to right to strand Desmond and end the fourth. 8-2 St. Louis.
2012 Nats' Minor League pitcher of the Year Nathan Karns took over in the fifth. The right-hander got a weak grounder to third from Justin Christian that Anthony Rendon couldn't pick up. E5 on Rendon. A double to right by Rob Johnson put runners on second and third for Ronny Cedeno, and the Cards' infielder singled to center to bring both runners home. 10-2 St. Louis. Karns walked Adron Chambers to put two on with one out. Matt Carpenter singled to load the bases with one down and 25-year-old Cards' prospect Xavier Scruggs K'd swinging for out no.2, but Cody Stanley walked to force in the Cards' 11th, run. 11-2 St. Louis. Shane Robinson sent a long fly ball to left that Tyler Moore tracked to the wall, but the Nats' outfielder couldn't bring it back in. Grand Slam, 15-2. End detailed report.
Cole Kimball replaced Karns and got the final out of the Cards' fifth. Anthony Rendon grounded out to short to start the Nationals' half of the frame, leaving the 22-year-old infielder 0 for 1 today, 8 for 23 this Spring. Steve Lombardozzi and Jayson Werth went down in order in the next two at bats and Henry Rodriguez took the mound for the first time this Spring in the top of the sixth. The Nats' flame-throwing right-hander threw a quick, eight-pitch, 1-2-3 frame, getting line drives to left and right and a grounder to first on which he got over to cover. Nice Spring debut for Rodriguez. Still 15-2 Cards.
Corey Brown tripled off Cardinals' Tyler Lyles to start the Nats' sixth, leaving the 27-year-old outfielder 8 for 29 with two doubles and a triple this Spring. Brown scored on Ryan Zimmerman's first extra base hit of the Spring, a double to left, making it 15-3 Cards after six. Tyler Clippard took over for Washington in the top of the seventh, striking out two of the three batters he faced in a 1-2-3 inning. Cards' right-hander Eduardo Sanchez gave up a leadoff single to center by Jhonatan Solano in the Nationals' seventh. Anthony Rendon K'd chasing a 2-2 change down in the zone. Steve Lombardozzi lined to right for out no.2 and Carlos Rivero's fly to right stranded Solano. 15-3 Cardinals after seven.
Nats' lefty Patrick McCoy gave up a leadoff triple by the Cards' Cody Stanley in the first AB of the eighth. One out later, a walk to Justin Christian put runners on the corners and an RBI single by J.R. Towles made it 16-3 St. Louis. With runners on second and third and one down, Anthony Rendon fielded a grounder to third off Ryan Jackson's bat and stepped on the base before throwing to first for an inning-ending 5-3 DP. Cards' right-hander Michael Blazek walked Matt Skole with one down in the Nationals' eighth, but retired the next two batters in a scoreless inning of work.
Patrick McCoy gave up a one-out single in a scoreless ninth in his second inning on the mound. Micah Owings started the Nationals' ninth with an opposite field solo home run to right off Cards' right-hander Keith Butler that made it a 16-4 game. Jhonatan Solano collected his second hit in two at bats, singling to left in front of Anthony Rendon, who was hit by a pitch. Two on, 0 outs. Steve Lombardozzi lined to right to bring Solano in and make it 16-5. Carlos Rivero K'd swinging for out no.1. Corey Brown popped out for out no.2. Infield fly. Matt Skole dumped a two-out, two-run single into center to make it 16-7 Cardinals. 16-8 when Skole scored on a Chris Marrero double. The Cards went to the bullpen for Victor Marte and the right-handed reliever gave up a two-run home run to right-center by Zach Walters that made it 16-10 with two down in the ninth. Micah Owings got another AB, but grounded to short to end the game. That was a long one.