JUPITER, Fla. - The Nationals have scored first in almost every game this spring, which is only worth something in the sense that it means they're getting an edge while their starters are still in the game. And against the Marlins today, they're on top early again.
They've got three hits on Javier Vazquez in the first three innings - all doubles - and have a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third.
Michael Morse had a deep double in the second inning, but got stuck at third when Ivan Rodriguez grounded to short in a play that developed so slowly, Hanley Ramirez had time to fake toward home before turning a 6-4-3 double play. But Morse continues to sting the ball in what's been an impressive spring; one scout said before the game the Nationals have to find him a way to get him 500 at-bats this year.
The Nationals scored their run in the third inning when Alberto Gonzalez doubled and Danny Espinosa drove him in with a double off the wall in left center.
Jason Marquis, so far, has been sharp again, getting five ground ball outs in the first three innings while striking out three, including a third-inning strikeout of Scott Cousins on a changeup. He's slated to go four innings today.