LAKELAND, Fla. - One time through the Tigers’ lineup and it’s been a mixed bag for Nationals lefty Ross Detwiler, who’s holding his own in his third spring start.
Two batters into the order, Detwiler was down 1-0 after yielding a mammoth home run to Torii Hunter, who cleared the berm in left field on a 1-1 fastball, sending patrons at the Hooters tiki bar scattering.
Other than that, Detwiler’s effort has been pretty positive. There have been a couple of hard-hit balls - before Hunter’s homer, leadoff man Austin Jackson smoked a liner that third baseman Steve Lombardozzi leaped and snagged, preventing an extra-base hit - and some funky swings that have produced outs from emergency hacks.
In the third, Jackson ripped a liner to left for a one-out double, one batter after Danny Worth skied to center on a ball that almost blew over the head of Bryce Harper. But Detwiler got Hunter to ground to short and struck out Miguel Cabrera swinging to escape further damage.
Through three innings, Detwiler has given up a run on three hits and struck out one.
The Nationals tied the game in the top of the second. Kurt Suzuki hit a one-out double to left-center and scored on Chad Tracy’s bouncer up the middle. For a second, it appeared Suzuki’s fly ball might go out - it kept carrying before finally dropping on the warning track.
Tigers lefty Drew Smyly has allowed a run on three hits through three. He’s fanned five.
Update: Tyler Moore’s homer to left leading off the fourth has given the Nationals a 2-1 lead. It’s Moore’s second homer of the spring.
That was the start of a four-run fourth that extended the Nats’ lead to 5-1.
After Moore’s blast, Desmond doubled and Suzuki walked. Tracy flew out to left before Chris Marrero hit an RBI single and Micah Owings made it 4-1 with a run-scoring groundout. Danny Espinsoa completed the scoring in the fourth with an RBI single to left.
Update II: Moore followed up his fourth-inning homer with a two-run shot in the fifth for a 7-1 Nationals lead.
Harper led off the inning with a fly ball that kept carrying to center and appeared to glance off the batter’s eye above the yellow stripe that umpires use to determine homers. Instead, it went as a double and Moore followed by homering on a 2-1 Duane Below pitch.
Detwiler is out after four innings. He allowed a run on three hits, walked one and struck out one.
Update III: Ryan Perry retired the Tigers in 1-2-3 fashion in the fifth, but he couldn’t get anyone else out. Four runs are in after a two-run single by Fielder and a two-run double by Victor Martinez, which knocked Perry from the game in the sixth.
Jeremy Accardo is on to pitch with the Nationals clinging to a 7-5 lead.
Update IV: The lead didn’t last too much longer. Accardo gave up an RBI single to Andy Dirks to close the book on Perry, then allowed a game-tying sacrifice fly to Hernan Perez, making it 7-7.
The Tigers sent 11 men to the plate in the sixth, scoring six times. They drew three walks and had a batter hit by a pitch.
Update V: The Nats have gone back on top, taking an 8-7 lead on Micah Owings’ RBIs single in the seventh. They had a chance to add to the lead, but Jhonatan Solano was thrown out at home trying to score on Zach Walters’ single for the third out of the inning. Ryan Mattheus is on to pitch.
Mattheus needed only two batters to cough up the lead. He walked Kevin Russo leading off the seventh and Matt Tuisosopo hit a 3-2 pitch over the wall in left-center for a two-run homer and a 9-8 lead for the Tigers.
Update VI: And it’s all tied again.
Solano knotted the score at 9-9 with a two-out RBI single to center in the eighth, scoring Corey Brown from third. Marrero then unknotted the score with a two-run single and another run scored on an error, giving the Nationals a 12-9 lead going into the bottom of the eighth.
Update VII: Erik Davis surrendered a run in the bottom of the ninth, but the Nationals managed to hold on for a 12-10 win.