Stephen Strasburg took the mound for the Washington Nationals in the bottom of the first this afternoon with a 3-0 lead over the Miami Marlins, courtesy of a base-clearing double by Clint Robinson, and proceeded to load the bases with two outs before giving up a two-run single by former Nats’ farmhand, Destin Hood.
Those were the only two runs the Nationals’ starter allowed, however.
Strasburg ended up throwing 79 pitches, 46 for strikes in 4 2⁄3 innings in Jupiter, FL’s Roger Dean Stadium, giving up four hits and two runs, walking one and striking out three while inducing seven ground ball outs in what ended up a 10-4 Nationals’ win.
Here’s how it happened:
• Two walks around a one-out error and a strikeout gave the Nationals a bases-loaded two-out opportunity in the first that Clint Robinson cashed in with a “booming” base-clearing double to center that put the Nats up 3-0 early this afternoon.
• The Nationals made Marlins’ left-hander Adam Conley throw 30+ pitches in their three-run top of the first inning.
• Stephen Strasburg retired the first two batters he faced this afternoon, but back-to-back singles by Justin Bour and Marcell Ozuna and a Derek Dietrich walk loaded them up for former Nationals’ prospect Destin Hood, who singled to center to drive in two runs and make it a 3-2 game.
• Strasburg retired the Marlins in order in the second, in a 16-pitch frame, which followed his 28-pitch first.
• Ryan Zimmerman doubled to start the third, connecting for his 5th hit in the last four games (5 for 8) after a tough 0 for 17 start to the Spring.
Zim took third on an attempt at a sac bunt/single by Brian Goodwin and scored on an RBI single by Anthony Rendon, 4-2 Nats.
• Rafael Bautista, who was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse this week, improved to 1 for 2 today and 10 for 32 in 19 games this Spring with a two-run single that made it 6-2 and ended Conley’s day. Bautista scored on a single by Emmanuel Burriss to make it 7-2.
• Strasburg got three straight ground ball outs in the third, retiring the fifth, sixth and seventh-straight Marlins after Hood’s two-run single in the first.
• Hood snapped Strasburg’s streak of retired batters at eight-straight with a one-out double to right in the fourth that a diving Brian Goodwin couldn’t come up with, but the Marlins’ outfielder was stranded at second base two outs later.
• Strasburg came back out for the fifth, retiring the first batter he faced on his 79th pitch of the game before he was replaced on the mound by Matt Grace.
Strasburg’s Line: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 Ks, 7/1 GO/FO, 79 P, 46 S
• Ryan Zimmerman connected for another hit in the sixth, taking Javy Guerra deep for a two-out, two-run home run that put the Nationals up, 9-2. It was Zim’s first HR of the Spring and his 7th hit in his last 10 at bats.
• Shawn Kelley replaced Matt Grace with one on and one out in the Marlins’ half of the sixth and gave up a hard-hit double by Destin Hood. A run scored on a groundout, but Kelley limited the damage. 9-3 Nationals after six.
• Kelley came back out for the seventh and worked around a two-out single for a scoreless frame.
• Braulio Lara gave up a leadoff walk to Kyle Barrett and a one-out RBI double by John Norwood as the Marlins pulled closer at 9-4.
• Neftali Soto walked with two down in the Nationals’ ninth and scored on an RBI single by Joey Butler, 10-4.
• Matt Albers took the mound in the ninth with a six-run lead and worked around a leadoff single for a scoreless frame.
Final Score: 10-4 Nationals.