PORT ST. LUCIE - After being set down in order in their first 12 trips to the plate today, the Nationals got something going in the fifth inning when Wilson Ramos smoked an RBI double off the wall in left-center.
The long fly ball plated Ian Desmond, who had reached on a fielder’s choice and stole second base. Adam LaRoche led off the inning with a single before being retired on the Desmond fielder’s choice.
Ramos didn’t just show off his power, he also showed off his wheels when advancing to third on a ball in the dirt. The Nats catcher slid in just ahead of the tag, and looked to be moving quicker and with more confidence than he was last season after returning from hamstring issues.
The Nats’ 1-0 lead was short-lived, however, as Christian Garcia got hit hard in the bottom of the fifth, allowing four runs on four hits, two of which were for extra bases.
The big knock came off the bat of Mets first baseman Ike Davis, who crushed a two-run shot to right on a hanging curveball from Garcia.
Garcia is battling to win a spot in the Nats bullpen after having most of his 2013 season lost due to a partially torn tendon in his right forearm and a hamstring strain. The right-hander suffered the forearm injury in his first bullpen session of spring last year, and this was his first big league spring training appearance since 2010.
At least statistically, it did not go as he’d hoped.
A.J. Cole delivered two scoreless innings behind starter Taylor Jordan, striking out two and allowing three hits, two of which were doubles. He worked out of a jam in the fourth by making a nice defensive play on a sharp comebacker, stranding two runners in scoring position.
It’s 4-1 Mets in the sixth.