Nationals edge Braves 15-14
By CARL KOTALA
VIERA, Fla. — Jordan Zimmermann breezed through two shutout innings with only 20 pitches for the Washington Nationals in what turned into a wild, 16-15 win over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday.
Zimmermann, who tied for the NL lead with 19 wins last season, gave up one hit and struck out one in his brief appearance.
The right-hander had a lot of success with his changeup last year and was pleased with the pitch on Saturday, particularly in the first inning when he got Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman to ground out.
Zimmermann seemed to surprise Freeman by throwing a changeup on a 1-0 count.
“He kind of looked at me like, ‘Really? We’re starting this already?’” Zimmermann said. “It got to 3-2 and I figured it was the last thing he was looking for. I threw a pretty good one. It was up a little bit, but he rolled it over I got a groundball, so it was good.”
Atlanta and Washington combined for 31 runs on 37 hits, including 11 doubles. There were six errors, five by Washington, and a combined 14 walks.
Mike Fontenot drove in four runs and Tyler Moore had three RBIs for the Nationals.
Jordan Schafer went 3 for 3 and doubled twice for Atlanta. Matt Lipka had three hits and four RBIs.
The scoring came mostly in the middle innings. It was 2-all after the third, and 16-15 after the sixth.
The Braves got nine runs in the top of the fifth to take a 14-6 lead, but the Nationals rallied with five runs each in the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings — while only getting three hits.
Braves: Julio Teheran threw two scoreless innings, striking out one and giving up two hits while tossing 30 pitches, 21 for strikes. He was particularly happy with his slider, which he used to strike out Anthony Rendon in the first inning.
“It was exciting to come back on the mound and do what I expect — just throw strikes,” Teheran said. “In the offseason I’ve been trying to (perfect) my curveball and my slider. I think this year is going to be different because of the all the experience with my slider.”
Braves: Outfielder Justin Upton is expected to play today against the Astros. He felt soreness in his right side and was scratched just before last Wednesday’s spring opener against Houston.
“It was nothing major, and we wanted to keep it nothing major,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
Catcher Gerald Laird, who has been experiencing back spasms, is expected to play either today or Monday.
Marlins (ss) 5, Cardinals 4
JUPITER, Fla. — Cardinals starter Lance Lynn allowed one hit in two shutout innings as a split squad of Miami Marlins beat St. Louis 5-4.
Lynn is coming off his first season of pitching at least 200 innings. He says he hasn’t experienced any ill effects following that workload.
The Marlins won on Avery Romero’s game-ending single in the ninth.
St. Louis hit Nathan Eovaldi hard but only managed one run off the Marlins starter. Former University of Hawaii and Kamehameha-Hawaii standout Kolten Wong went 0 for 1 in a brief appearance for the Cardinals.
Randal Grichuk, acquired in the trade that sent David Freese to the Angels, appeared to be fooled by Eovaldi’s offspeed pitch yet still generated enough power with a one-handed swing to send a line drive over the head of center fielder Marcell Ozuna for an RBI triple.
Miami scored four times in the fourth, with Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Greg Dobbs, Jeff Mathis and Ozuna all getting RBIs.
Scott Moore’s solo homer in the Cardinals eighth made it 4-all.
Brewers (ss) 6, Dodgers 5
PHOENIX — Ryan Braun ignored loud boos in his home spring debut, producing a single and a walk as a Milwaukee Brewers split squad beat the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Braun’s first at-bat at Maryvale Baseball Park was met with a vocal and extended chorus of boos, especially from the third-base side loaded with a large contingent of Dodgers fans.
Braun walked and scored on a single by Carlos Gomez. In the third, Brewers fans on the first-base side tried to drown out the boos with a louder round of cheers before his infield single.
The former NL MVP was suspended for the final 65 games of the season last year for his role in the Biogenesis drug scandal. Braun homered Thursday in his first at-bat of exhibition play at Oakland’s park.
Milwaukee starter Kyle Lohse threw two perfect innings. Los Angeles starter Dan Haren allowed a run in two innings.
Mariners 5, Angels 3 (7 inn.)
PEORIA, Ariz. — Robinson Cano got two hits and made a pair of smooth plays in the field as the Seattle Mariners beat the Los Angeles Angels 5-3 on Saturday in a game shortened to seven innings because of rain.
Cano struck out in the first inning against C.J. Wilson. The Seattle newcomer hit an RBI single in the third and later scored on Dustin Ackley’s RBI double.
Cano was sharp at second base, making a charging grab and flip to get Ian Stewart in the first. This was Cano’s second game for the Mariners — in his debut, he singled on the first pitch he saw.
Scott Baker threw two scoreless innings to start his bid for a spot in Seattle’s rotation. He gave up one hit, walked one and struck out win in his first start of the spring as Seattle improved to 3-0 in Cactus League play.
Twins 6, Red Sox 2
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Chris Parmelee’s three-run homer off left-handed reliever Jose Mijares broke open a close game in the sixth inning, and the Minnesota Twins went on to beat the Boston Red Sox 6-2.
Parmelee hit just .172 against lefties last year. He opened the season as the Twins’ everyday right fielder but gradually lost playing time until being sent back to Triple-A at the All-Star break.
“I told him right before that, he stays in on lefties,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “I don’t worry about him against lefties. When he swinging good, he hangs in there pretty decent.”
The former first-round draft pick is out of minor league options.
The Twins unveiled a $48.5 million renovation of their spring complex. A Hammond Stadium-record crowd of 8,547 was on hand.
Joe Mauer added a run-scoring single in the first for the Twins. He made his 2014 debut at first base after making the permanent move from catcher in the wake of a season-ending concussion last Aug. 19.
Daniel Nava homered for Boston and Grady Sizemore added a hit.
Reds 3, Rockies 2
GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Ramon Santiago singled home a run, stole second and scored on a wild pitch as the Cincinnati Reds beat the Colorado Rockies 3-2.
Brayan Pena doubled and scored on Santiago’s single. Neftali Soto doubled home a run.
Pena and Satiago both played in Detroit last season.
Nelson Arenado had three singles and an RBI. Former Reds infielder Paul Janish singled and scored two runs for the Rockies.
The game was played despite the first rain in the Phoenix area since December 21.
Chien-Ming Wang pitched for Cincinnati for the first time this spring. He allowed one run on five hits, striking out two.
Tigers 5, Astros 1
LAKELAND, Fla. — Scott Feldman pitched two scoreless innings in his first spring start for Houston, allowing only one hit in the Astros’ 5-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers.
Austin Jackson had two hits for Detroit, which scored its five runs in the fourth inning.
Feldman signed a three-year, $30 million contract with the Astros in the offseason, and Houston hopes the 31-year-old right-hander can provide stability at the top of the rotation. Feldman went 12-12 with a 3.86 ERA last year while splitting time between the Chicago Cubs and Baltimore Orioles.
“He was Scott Feldman. He’s going to attack the strike zone, he’s going to throw all his pitches in any count,” Astros manager Bo Porter said. “Just a professional, the way he goes about his business, and it was good to see.”
Feldman allowed a walk to Miguel Cabrera and a single to Jackson.
“Right now I think the pitchers are probably a little ahead of the hitters, and all that stuff catches up,” Feldman said. “Hopefully by the end of spring I’ll be able to hit my spots.”
Cabrera’s single started Detroit’s fourth-inning rally, which also included a two-run double by Don Kelly.
Diamondbacks (ss) 2
Brewers (ss) 1 (4½ inn.)
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Mark Trumbo homered in his return to the lineup and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Milwaukee Brewers 2-1 in a split-squad game shortened to 4½ innings because of rain.
The game was delayed 36 minutes at the start by showers. The rain came back in the bottom of the fifth inning and the game was called with one out.
Logan Schafer tripled and scored in the top of the first for the Brewers. Trumbo answered with a towering home run to left field in the bottom half.
Trumbo went 1 for 2. The Diamondbacks newcomer was scratched from the lineup on Friday with a sore left heel.
Paul Goldschmidt walked for Arizona and scored on Miguel Montero’s double.
Arizona starter Trevor Cahill went 3 1-3 innings, allowing one run and two hits. Cahill struck out four, walked one and hit a batter.
Brewers starter Hiram Burgos went two innings.
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