Bullpen comes undone as Nats fall
Zimmerman provides offense, but Braves' bats come on late
BRAVES 6, NATIONALS 2
at Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Thursday, March 12
Nationals at the plate: Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman's two-run double highlighted a two-run third inning that began with Daniel Cabrera's one-out single to right. Lastings Milledge also added a single against Jair Jurrjens in the third. Zimmerman's double increased his Grapefruit League batting average to .348 (8-for-23).
Braves at the plate: Brandon Jones delivered a pair of RBI singles, including one that sparked a three-run sixth and gave the Braves their first lead. Jordan Schafer doubled and stole third before scoring his team's first run in the fourth inning. Jason Heyward hit his first Grapefruit League homer in the seventh inning.
Nationals on the mound: Cabrera, who was charged with two earned runs and four hits in 3 2/3 innings, limited the Braves to two singles during the first three innings. Josh Towers' slim hopes of making the Opening Day roster were further diminished as he allowed five hits and three runs -- one earned -- in 1 2/3 innings.
Braves on the mound: Jurrjens allowed three hits and two runs during the third inning and was otherwise unharmed during his other three innings of work. Mike Gonzalez worked a scoreless fifth inning, during which his fastball reached 91 mph. Kris Medlen, who has an outside shot of winning a spot in Atlanta's bullpen, allowed one hits and recorded two strikeouts in two scoreless inningsGrapefruit League records: Nationals 6-6-1; Braves 10-2 Up next: The Braves will travel to Jupiter, Fla., on Friday for the start of a two-day series that will pit them against the Marlins and the Cardinals. Top pitching prospect Tommy Hanson will start Friday's game at 1:05 p.m. ET against Florida, which will counter with Josh Johnson. Left fielder Matt Diaz has six hits in his past 12 at-bats.
The Nationals will send Scott Olsen to the mound on Friday, when they travel to Kissimmee, Fla., to face Mike Hampton and the Astros at 7:05 p.m.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.