After getting hammered in his first two spring starts, A.J. Cole was nearly perfect yesterday in West Palm Beach, as the Nats and Marlins played to a 2-2 tie.
Cole retired 12 of 13 batters faced, issuing a leadoff walk in the 3rd and striking out two over four no-hit innings – quite the contrast the to the four-run, six-hit beating Miami gave him over three innings a week ago.
Joe Nathan followed Cole and was touched for the two Marlins runs in the 5th. Solo shot by Bryce Harper (6th) and Derek Norris (7th) staved off another Washington loss and masked another poor outing by the Nats bats.
Adam Eaton rounded out the hit column with a leadoff single in the 4th. Trea Turner drew two walks, Anthony Rendon and Zimmerman each walked once to account for the seven (7) baserunners.
Drew Ward was the sole watchlist player to get into the game. He replaced Rendon at 3B and grounded out to first in the 6th and tapped back to the mound in the 8th.
The Nats remain “home” at the BotPB with Gio Gonzalez scheduled to pitch (3 or 4 innings… on purpose). The game can be heard on MLB Audio with the St. Louis feed.