Nats rained out for fourth time in their last 10 games

JUPITER, Fla. - The Nationals simply can't catch a break with Mother Nature right now. They also probably can't wait to get out of Florida after a week of scorching heat, humidity and enough rain and lightning to significantly interfere with their end-of-spring preparation.

It happened again today, with a thunderstorm sweeping through Roger Dean Stadium and forcing the cancelation of the Nationals' game against the Cardinals in the top of the fourth inning.

Stephen Strasburg front gray far.jpgThis is the fourth time in their last 10 games the Nationals have been rained out. The first couple of times it happened, it was a minor nuisance. Now, it's throwing a major wrench into the club's preparation for opening day.

Stephen Strasburg, whose originally scheduled start Monday in Viera was wiped out before it ever began, made it through three innings today against the Cardinals. He threw 50 pitches, roughly half of what was planned for his final tune-up before the regular season.

In what little time he did have on the mound, Strasburg impressed. He struck out five, including three straight in the bottom of the third. He also pitched his way out of a first-inning jam, getting Brandon Moss to whiff at a high fastball.

The Nationals scored one run off Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright, getting back-to-back singles from Stephen Drew and Scott Sizemore in the top of the fourth ahead of Jose Lobaton's sacrifice fly.

The Nationals have one more Grapefruit League game scheduled this spring, facing the Mets at 12:10 p.m. Wednesday. The forecast for Port St. Lucie: an 80 percent chance of afternoon thunderstorms.

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