Jordan’s sinker darting and diving (Nats lose 2-0)


Score: Astros 2, Nationals 0

Recap: Taylor Jordan pitched five innings, allowing one run on three hits and one walk while striking out five. But the Nats committed two errors and looked out of sorts on defense on the way to falling to the Astros. The Nats were held hitless until the sixth inning.

Need to know: Jordan might’ve enhanced his chances to earn the No. 5 spot in the team’s rotation with an impressive outing that lowered his spring ERA to 4.80.

On deck: Thursday, vs. Tigers at home, 1:05 p.m.

VIERA, Fla. - Taylor Jordan had a bit of a shaky first inning in which he allowed two hits, a walk, made a throwing error and surrendered a run.

Since that inning, he hasn’t allowed a ball out of the infield.

Jordan has retired eight batters in a row, six of which were on ground balls. His sinker has been on point lately, and Astros hitters are having trouble squaring it up.

You can tell when Jordan is feeling good when he’s working quickly and keeping the ball in the lower half of the strike zone. He’s doing both in this stretch.

Every chance to impress is big for Jordan, given that he’s competing with Tanner Roark and Chris Young for the No. 5 spot in the Nationals rotation.

The Nats, meanwhile, don’t have a hit through four innings. They’ve been stymied by Jarred Cosart, the Astros right-hander who carried a 7.71 ERA into tonight’s game.

Update: It took 5 1/3 innings, but the Nationals have their first baserunner of the night.

They didn’t get anything off Cosart in his five innings of work, but Anthony Rendon singled to right off lefty Raul Valdes with one out in the sixth, breaking up the Astros’ team perfecto.

The Nats got two more baserunners in the sixth - Denard Span singled and Ian Desmond walked - but Ryan Zimmerman flew out to right to end the threat.

Ross Detwiler delivered a scoreless sixth for the Nats in his first relief relief appearance of spring, and Rafael Soriano worked a clean seventh. Tyler Clippard then allowed a solo homer to Jesus Guzman in the eighth, and it’s a 2-0 ballgame here in Viera.

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