Nats hurlers make statement in loss
Balester tosses three scoreless frames; Hernandez nabs two hits
TIGERS 3, NATIONALS 0
at Viera, Fla.
March 15, 2009
Nationals at the plate: Anderson Hernandez had two hits, while Nick Johnson and Josh Willingham had a hit apiece. In the eighth inning, the Nationals had the bases loaded with no outs, but Tigers left-hander Clay Rapada struck out Lastings Milledge and Freddie Bynum, and induced Kory Casto to fly out to deep right field to end the inning.
Tigers at the plate: Detroit scored two runs in the sixth inning to break a scoreless duel. Wilkin Ramirez had a bases-loaded single, driving in Jeff Larish and Don Kelly. Ramirez scored the third run of the game on a throwing error by left-hander Wil Ledezma
Nationals on the mound: Right-hander Collin Balester pitched three innings without giving up a run, while left-hander Gustavo Chacin gave up two runs in 2 1/3 innings.
Tigers on the mound: Right-hander Alfredo Figaro pitched three scoreless innings. Relievers Juan Rincon, Fernando Rodney and Casey Fien pitched a combined four shutout innings.
Grapefruit League records: Nationals 7-7-2; Tigers, 6-9.
Up next: The Nationals travel to Jupiter, Fla., to play the Marlins at 1:05 p.m. ET on Monday. Nationals right-hander Shawn Hill will make his first start since Feb. 27. He has been nursing a sore right forearm.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.