Desmond scratched, plus game update (Nats lead 9-4)

KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Ian Desmond was scheduled to start at shortstop and hit third in today's lineup against the Astros, but when the game began, Jamey Carroll was the third Nationals hitter into the batter's box.

Desmond has been scratched from the lineup today, with Carroll taking over as the Nats' shortstop to begin the game.

No word from the Nationals yet as to why Desmond was a late scratch. He did make the trip here to Kissimmee, so it must've been something that came up shortly before gametime.

Meanwhile, the Nats trail 3-2 after three innings, with a Eury Perez RBI double and a Mike Fontenot run-scoring fielder's choice bringing in the two runs.

Carroll also tripled in the third inning, but was left stranded.

Tanner Roark, getting the start for the Nats today, has allowed three runs on three hits and two walks so far. He's struck out two.

The right-hander hung a curveball in the third inning, and Jason Castro made him pay for it, smoking it out to right for a two-run homer.

Meanwhile, over in Orlando, the Nats lost to the Braves 3-2.

Chris Young allowed two runs in three innings, Luis Ayala threw a scoreless inning and Denard Span had two hits for the Nats.

Update: Roark is done after 3 1/3 innings, having thrown 62 pitches (37 for strikes) in that time.

The right-hander allowed the three runs on three hits with two walks and three strikeouts.

Craig Stammen relieved Roark and gave up three hits and a run of his own.

Update II: The Nats exploded in the fifth, pushing across five runs, two of which came on Nate McLouth's first homer of spring.

McLouth cranked a two-run shot to right off Houston's Darin Downs, a lefty. The ball got out of here in a hurry.

Chris Snyder also had an RBI single and Fontenot added a two-run single, as well.

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