The Washington Nationals have not hit a ton of home runs yet this spring. That’s not really a source of concern, as pitchers are usually ahead of the hitters for the first couple of weeks at Spring Training. Saturday, however, the Nats broke out their big sticks, hitting three homers in an 8-7 win over the Miami Marlins at Space Coast Stadium in Viera.
Bryce Harper (2) and Ryan Zimmerman (1) went back-to-back in the fifth inning, while SS Zach Walters added his second of the spring in the eighth. Harper finished the day 2-for-3 with two runs and Zimmerman went 3-for-3 with two runs scored. The Nats pounded out 12 hits total against four Miami pitchers.
Steve Lombardozzi added a two-run single and Danny Espinosa had a run scoring single as well.
It was a tough day for pitchers overall, as some may be entering their “dead arm” period as they try to strengthen their bodies to be ready for opening day. Free agent signee Chris Young started for the Nats with Ross Detwiler away for the World Baseball Classic. Young went three innings, allowing three earned runs on three hits and three walks, striking out two.
Craig Stammen followed and was punished — allowing three earned runs on four hits and a walk, all in just two-thirds of an inning.
The Nats received credible relief after that, as Erik Davis provided 1 1/3 scoreless innings (1 hit, 1 K), and Ryan Perry had another good outing, throwing two scoreless frames and allowing just one hit. Fernando Abad was credited with the victory for his scoreless inning of work, and though he gave up a run on three hits, Jeremy Accardo “earned” his second spring save.
The Nats travel to Lakeland Sunday for a 1:05 tilt against the Detroit Tigers.