Nats Drop Second Straight, Lose To Braves, 8-4

Lowlighted by a bases-clearing triple against a five-man infield in the Braves’ four-run 8th, Atlanta doubled up Washington 8-4 to hand the Nats their second straight Grapefruit League loss.

Ace Stephen Strasburg breezed through two scoreless innings in his first spring-training start, needing just 15 pitches to get six outs, one by way of the K. He allowed just a one-out single in the 2nd then ended his outing with a 6-4-3 double play.

He was followed by Taylor Jordan, who was knocked for two runs on five hits in his second appearance. The 25-y.o. gave out no free passes and fanned three over his two innings.

A.J. Cole, another Floridian, also appeared for the second time this spring, retiring all six batters he faced with two strikeouts.

Brian Goodwin was the sole prospect in the starting lineup, going 1-for-3 with a doubled while batting ninth and manning centerfield.

Here’s a rundown of how the notable minor-leaguers fared off the bench:

• Steve Souza went 1-for-2 while playing RF in relief of Nate McLouth
• Michael Taylor struck out in his lone AB as the sub for Bryce Harper in LF
• Matt Skole also whiffed in one at-bat, replacing Ryan Zimmerman at 3B
• Eury Perez singled to raise his spring BA to .500 taking over for Goodwin

The Nationals return to Space Coast tomorrow for an afternoon tilt against the split-squad Mets. Gio Gonzalez is expected to make his spring debut. The game can be heard on MLB Radio.

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

10 thoughts on “Nats Drop Second Straight, Lose To Braves, 8-4”

    1. That’s interesting, the writer brought up a good point. it’s hard to think about going to the game if there’s still going to be snow on the ground.

    2. I love the map in the article: “I’ve attempted to crudely link together those stops on one picture, thanks to my brilliant MS Paint skills. Behold!” Guy seems so proud to have demonstrated some tech savvy. I’m a bit jealous. No way I could have pulled that off.

  1. The 5 man infield experiment was interesting, especially given that it came at a time when none of the MLB regulars were in the game. Seems like practicing it with a group of guys that will likely be in the minors doesn’t add that much value. Perhaps it was more of a test of Ayala to see how well see could try to induce GBs in that kind of a situation.

    1. But you wouldn’t try it except in the late innings and/or without the two fastest players in the system playing outfield either. The five-man IF is baseball’s answer to the fake field goal — you look like a genius when it works and an idiot when it doesn’t.

      1. I vaguely recall some Nats game when it worked, but my memory is fading fast at the ripe old age of 38.

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