VIERA, Fla. - These Nationals starters keep matching each other.
It'd be nice if they can do it when the games count, as well, but manager Davey Johnson will take strong innings anytime he can get them.
Jordan Zimmermann is done after three scoreless frames this afternoon. The righty allowed three hits and a walk and hit a batter, but struck out three, including a third-inning punch-out of Cardinals third baseman Eugenio Velez on a filthy slider.
Zimmermann threw 44 pitches, 25 of which were for strikes.
He allowed a two-out single to center fielder Jon Jay in the first inning but got out of the frame without damage, then worked into a bit of trouble in the second, walking second baseman Tyler Greene to lead off the inning and hitting catcher Bryan Anderson. But left fielder Roger Bernadina made a nice running catch of a sinking line drive and then doubled Greene off second base to end the threat.
Zimmermann got two strike outs in the third inning, with Velez going down to start the frame and first baseman Matt Adams striking out swinging to end Zimmermann's outing.
Overall, through five Grapefruit League games, Nats starters have gone 13 2/3 innings, and have allowed just three runs on 11 hits.
Not too shabby.
The Nats lead 1-0 here in the fourth inning. Ian Desmond doubled leading off the bottom of the first, giving him his first hit of the spring in 10 at-bats.
Jason Michaels drove Desmond in with a two-out single to left.
Dan Kolko was named MASNsports.com's Nationals beat writer after spending the last four years covering the Baltimore Ravens for MASN and also serving as the Web site's deputy managing editor. A University of Delaware graduate originally from Silver Spring, Md., Dan grew up a die-hard baseball fan and is thrilled for the opportunity to cover the Nationals. Before joining MASN, Dan worked in production at Comcast SportsNet in Bethesda, Md., and also interned at the "George Michael Sports Machine" in Washington, D.C.
Follow Dan Kolko on Twitter: @DanKolko