VIERA, Fla. - Battling a stiff wind and cool conditions, Ross Detwiler pitched two innings of one-run ball in his final appearance for the Nationals before leaving to join Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.
Detwiler allowed back-to-back singles to open the game, then struck out the side, with Matt Carpenter, Ty Wigginton and Matt Adams all going down swinging.
In the second, Detwiler again allowed two straight singles to start the frame. The Cardinals plated a run when Justin Christian grounded into a 5-4-3 double play, and Detwiler ended his outing by striking out Ronny Cedeno.
Steve Lombardozzi, playing third base today, got the double play started with a quick catch and release off a high bouncing ball.
Detwiler finishes having thrown 51 pitches, 31 of which were strikes. The Nats would have preferred that Detwiler get three innings of work in today, but because the lefty comes to camp so early (he reported in late January this year), he’s further along at this point in spring than most pitchers. Manager Davey Johnson will be fine with Detwiler just working two innings and getting up over 50 pitches.
Detwiler will leave tomorrow to meet up with his Team USA teammates in Arizona as they prepare for first-round pool play. Detwiler is scheduled to pitch against Italy on March 9. He’ll piggyback Ryan Vogelsong in that game, meaning he’s set to come on in relief behind Vogelsong.
The Nats trail 2-1 here in the bottom of the third after Craig Stammen allowed a leadoff homer to Shane Robinson in the top-half of the third inning.
Denard Span scored the Nationals’ lone run thus far. He led off the first with a walk, moved to third on a Jayson Werth single and scooted home when Robinson had trouble picking up the ball in center.
Update: After striking out on three pitches in his first at-bat of spring, Ryan Zimmerman battled in his second trip to the plate, working the count full and then dropping a single down the right field line.
Jayson Werth, who had singled to center earlier in the inning and then moved to second on a Bryce Harper line drive single to left, came around to score on the Zimmerman knock.
Werth is 2-for-2 with two sinlges today. It’s a 2-2 game here at Space Coast Stadium.