LaRoche homers, Fister speaks after his Nats debut (Nats win 10-3)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP

SCORE: Nationals 10, Marlins 3

Recap: Doug Fister allowed a run in two solid innings of work in his spring debut, and the Nats reserves broke open the game in the middle innings, turning a 3-2 game after four into a 10-3 win.

Need to know: Zach Walters is now 5-for-5 with two doubles and a triple this spring, and he's made a couple of impressive defensive plays, as well. That'll get ya noticed early in camp.

On deck: Monday, at Yankees in Tampa, 1:05 p.m.


VIERA, Fla. - Adam LaRoche crushed a two-run homer deep to right in the fourth inning, his first longball of the spring, giving the Nationals a 3-2 lead over the Marlins.

You often hear of wind-aided homers in spring training, but LaRoche didn't need no stinkin' wind on this blast. It was smoked.

The homer came off a left-hander, Brian Flynn, which is a good sign for LaRoche and the Nats. LaRoche hit just .198/.254/.313 off lefties last season.

Chris Young allowed a solo homer to Ed Lucas in the third. The 6-foot-10 Young allowed two hits, the run and struck out two in two innings of work in his spring debut.

Craig Stammen is on for the Nats here in the fifth.

Reporters met with Doug Fister a bit ago in front of his locker, and the Nats starter used the word "erratic" on a couple occasions to describe his two innings of one-run ball today.

"Overall, not bad," Fister said. "Obviously there's still a lot of things I need to work on. My biggest thing is my command. I felt a little erratic out there. Trying to get to know myself again this year. It's just a matter of, really it's a matter of fine-tuning the sinker."

Fister said he even felt erratic in the first inning, when he struck out two, got a weak pop-up to short and breezed through the frame.

"Yeah, a little bit," Fister said. "Just normally where I normally am, I feel like I've got a little better command. For the first day, I wasn't unhappy about it, just gives me something to build on and work through.

"Specifically honing in on the command is the biggest thing, but overall, with everything, it's just a matter of staying consistent. I don't wanna have too many peaks and valleys, I want to make sure I'm consistent every day getting my work in and doing the things I need to do."

Fister only got one ground ball in his two innings of work, but he felt his sinker was pretty solid today.

"Again, a little erratic, left a couple over the plate," he said. "A couple flew up and were too far inside, but the main focus for me is keeping the ball down. I felt like I was kind of 50/50 today. That still needs to be a focus."

Fister has spent the last two-plus weeks getting acclimated to a new organization and new teammates after coming to the Nats in an offseason trade with the Tigers.

"It's good to get the first (outing), I wouldn't say out of the way, but get my feet underneath me as a Nat," Fister said. "I know everybody's back there ready to play and they've got my back. So it's a good feeling to have. I like the team that we have here. We've got a lot of talent, but most important we've got great chemistry and guys are playing together. So I look forward to the future here.

"I'm definitely fully adjusted (to a new team). Everybody's been more than welcoming. We've got that family atmosphere here, and that's what we need to have and it's gonna show on the field."

Fister has gotten to work with a few Nats catchers during his bullpen sessions and live BPs over the last couple weeks, and he was paired with starting catcher Wilson Ramos today. Building a rapport with his new battery mates will be another part of the acclimation process for Fister this spring.

"I think we're pretty well already on the same page and he caught on very quickly," Fister said of Ramos. "We've talked a little bit, but a lot of it comes from game experience, and that's something that today we were able to do and just kind of get to know one another."

Update: The Marlins got a run off Stammen in the top of the fifth on Donovan Solano's RBI double, but Stammen struck out two and got out of the inning without further damage. The Nats then took the lead right back in the bottom half of the inning.

Jeff Kobernus tripled into the corner in right, showing off his speed on the play and allowing Nate McLouth to come around to score. Ian Desmond then plated Kobernus with an RBI groundout.

Sammy Solis just wrapped up two scoreless innings of work. He allowed three hits but worked out of a jam in the seventh and kept the Nats' lead at 5-3 going to the bottom of the seventh.

Update II: A Brock Peterson bases-loaded walk, Matt Skole two-run double and Michael Taylor sacrifice fly have helped break this game open in the seventh. The Nats scored four times in the seventh, and now have a 9-3 lead.

Peterson is now 3-for-3 with a walk and two RBIs this spring. Skole is 3-for-5 with three RBIs.

The big, power-hitting first basemen are showing up so far this camp.

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