LAKELAND, Fla. - Edwin Jackson made it through three innings against the Tigers this afternoon, a laborious third running up his pitch count and hastening his exit from the game.
The right-hander did a good job of minimizing the damage in the third, and was helped out by a nice play to nab Edwin Espinal at home on an ill-advised send. Espinal walked and tried to score when JaCoby Jones lashed a double to left on which Andrew Stevenson almost made a diving grab at the wall.
The Tigers then loaded the bases on a walk and a single before Jeimer Candelario’s fielder’s choice plated the game’s first run. Second baseman Wilmer Difo’s relay to first on a potential inning-ending double play was low and short of Matt Adams. Nicholas Castellanos flied out to end the frame.
Jackson allowed a run on three hits, walked two and fanned two. He threw 51 pitches, 21 for strikes.
The Nats have managed little out of four singles and two walks through five. Two runners were picked off of first - Goodwin by catcher John Hicks after walking in the third and Stevenson by pitcher Ryan Carpenter after an infield single in the fifth.
They loaded the bases against Carpenter with two down in the fifth on a single by Brignac and two hit batsmen, and tied the game when Difo hit an infield single to short.
Update: Hicks was credited with a run-scoring triple when his drive to center got Rafael Bautista twisted and turned in center. Enny Romero’s wild pitch then plated Hicks. The Tigers lead 3-1 after six innings.
Update III: Soto drew a bases-loaded walk in the ninth, forcing in a run and pushing the Nationals’ lead to 5-3.
Update IV: Bryan Harper came on to pitch the ninth and got the first two batters before Mike Gerber hit a 1-0 pitch over the center field wall. Pete Kozma then singled, but was left stranded when Chad Huffman grounded out. The Nats hold on for a 5-4 road win.