Zimmermann perfect in four innings of work (Nats win 3-2)


Score: Nationals 3, Yankees 2

Recap: Anthony Rendon scored a run in the first and then drove in two in the second with a double into the left field corner. Jordan Zimmmermann retired all 12 batters he faced and the Nats held on for the one-run win.

Need to know: Zimmermann has now thrown nine scoreless innings this spring, allowing just three hits and one walk and striking out nine.

On deck: Wednesday, (ss) at Braves, 1:05 p.m.; (ss) at Astros, 1:05 p.m.

VIERA, Fla. - Ah, if only it was the regular season.

Jordan Zimmermann was perfect through four innings here today, retiring all 12 batters he’s faced.

Zimmermann struck out four and worked through the Yankees order with ease. He worked quickly, getting ahead of hitters and pouring in strikes.

Only 15 outs to go. Think manager Matt Williams will boost his limit of four innings and approximate pitch count of 60 or so pitches and let Zimmermann go for the perfecto?

Yeah, good one, Dan.

Facing a pretty solid Yankees lineup, considering the length of the bus ride for Joe Girardi’s club (which makes its spring home in Tampa), Zimmermann looked really sharp, if the pitching line didn’t already indicate as much.

He did get some defensive help in the fourth when Nate McLouth laid out to rob Mark Teixeira of a base hit. McLouth sprinted in and a touch into the left-center gap as he tracked Teixeira’s sinking liner and nabbed the ball just before it hit the turf.

Zimmermann finishes having thrown 54 pitches, 37 for strikes.

The Nats have a 3-0 lead as we go to the fifth.

They got to CC Sabathia for a run in the first on a Wilson Ramos RBI groundout, scoring Anthony Rendon, who walked leading off the inning.

In the second, Danny Espinosa walked and then used a hit-and-run to scoot to third on Tyler Moore’s single to left. After Scott Hairston and McLouth struck out, Rendon doubled down the left field line, scoring both Espinosa and Moore.

Moore scampered around from first on the double and pulled off a really nice slide at the plate to get in just before Brian McCann’s tag.

Drew Storen is on to work the fifth for the Nats. We’ll see if he can pass the spring perfecto on to the next reliever to enter.

Update: Storen struck out the side in the fifth, but also allowed two hits and a run. His breaking stuff looked pretty sharp today, in this his third appearance of spring.

The Yankees got another run in the sixth off left-hander Felipe Rivero and now trail the Nats 3-2.

Williams has made wholesale changes, emptying his bench here in the middle innings. Rendon finished 1-for-2 with a walk and two RBIs, Jayson Werth had two hits, and Moore has added the Nats’ other hit today.

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