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Nationals 8-2 Over Braves: Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche with Back-to-Back HRs In 5th

With things tied up at 2-2 in the fifth, Washington Nationals' third baseman Ryan Zimmerman hit a two-run blast off former Nats' starter Yunesky Maya and Adam LaRoche followed with a home run of his own in the next at bat. Final score: 8-2 over the Atlanta Braves.

Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Nationals' second baseman Danny Espinosa wowed the crowd with a backhand play on a low one-hop liner off Atlanta Braves' outfielder Jordan Schafer's bat, but Nats' outfielder Eury Perez failed to come up with a low liner to right from Andrelton Simmons, who singled off left-hander Ross Detwiler with one down in the top of the first inning of this afternoon's game.

Making his second appearance of the spring, Detwiler, 28, gave up a run in the opening frame when Braves' backstop Evan Gattis buzzed Det's tower and singled to center to bring Simmons in from second after a HBP on Freddie Freeman moved Atlanta's shortstop into scoring position. 1-0 Braves' early in Viera, Florida's Space Coast Stadium.

• Meanwhile in Jupiter:

Chris Young started for the Nationals against the Cardinals in Jupiter, Florida's Roger Dean Stadium in the away half of the split squad games on Saturday. Young gave up a run on two hits in 3 IP in which he walked three and struck out one. After Mark Ellis singled in a run for St. Louis in the bottom of the second, Nats' utility man Jamey Carroll singled in a run with a line drive to left field. 1-1 after three.

Denard Span doubled for the first time this spring and scored two groundouts later as Ian Desmond and Bryce Harper moved him over and knocked him in, respectively. Harper's groundout was stabbed by Freddie Freeman, who robbed the Nats' 21-year-old slugger of a hit. 1-1 tie after one.

Detwiler gave up three singles in the second, but Matt Lipka, the first runner to reach after a one-out hit, was then hit by a grounder off 32-year-old catcher Jose Yepez's bat and called out and Yepez and Jordan Schafer were stranded after Schafer's two-out infield single when Andrelton Simmons grounded back to the mound.

• Meanwhile in Jupiter:

Danny Espinosa hit an opposite field double to left to start the home-half of the second, then scored two outs later on a swinging bunt by Denard Span that Braves' pitcher David Hale mishandled. Espinosa was running from second on contact and he scored on the play as Span hustled to beat the late throw to first. 2-1 Nationals.

Detwiler started the third with a high pitch count and was relieved after surrendering a leadoff single by Freddie Freeman. Taylor Jordan took the mound mid-inning, inheriting the runner, but he popped up Evan Gattis and struck out Chris Johnson and Dan Uggla to strand Freeman at first.

After a quick, 1-2-3 bottom of the third, Taylor Jordan retook the mound and struck Braves' outfielder Todd Cunningham out with a 3-2 slider. Matt Lipka singled in the next at bat, stole second and scored when Jose Yepez singled to left. 2-2 game in the fourth. Jordan recorded another K, his 4th, on the way to completing the inning. Tied up after three and a half innings.

Danny Espinosa walked in his second at bat, stole second base on Braves' RHP Juan Jamie and catcher Jose Yepez, took third on a wild pitch and scored on a sac fly by Chris Snyder. 3-2 Nationals after four.

Taylor Jordan struck out two, for six Ks total, and retired the Braves in order in the top of the fifth.

Bryce Harper hit a two-out single off former Nats' starter Yunesky Maya in the bottom of the fifth inning, then scored when Ryan Zimmerman crushed a fastball from Maya and sent it soaring out to center for a two-run blast that made it 5-2 Nats. Adam LaRoche hit the second of back-to-back home runs in the next at bat and it was 6-2 Nationals after five in Space Coast Stadium.

Tyler Clippard threw a quick scoreless inning in the top of the sixth, giving up a two-out walk to Jose Yepez before he struck Jordan Schafer out.

• Meanwhile in Jupiter:

Xavier Cedeno worked a scoreless seventh vs the Braves, retiring Andrelton Simmons, Freddie Freeman and Evan Gattis in order.

Nats' RHP Josh Roenicke gave up a one-out double by 19-year-old Braves' infield prospect Jose Peraza, but Brian Goodwin showed off his range catcher a fly to center from Todd Cunningham and Matt Lipka popped out to Nationals' prospect Isaac Ballou in left to end the Braves' eighth.

• Meanwhile in Jupiter:

The Nationals got back-to-back one-out singles from Jeff Kobernus and Koyie Hill in the bottom of the eighth inning and one out later, an error by Braves infielder Edward Salcedo allowed both runners to score as the Nats added to their lead against right-hander Lay Batista.

• Meanwhile in Jupiter:

Manny Delcarmen took the mound in the ninth inning in Space Coast Stadium. The veteran right-hander retired the Braves in order and the Nats took the win, 8-2 final.