Zim, Willingham launch homers in loss
Nats' pitching staff out of groove, allowing 18 hits
MARLINS (ss) 11, NATIONALS 2
at Viera, Fla.
Monday, March 8
Marlins at the plate: Florida collected 18 hits in the game. Ronny Paulino was the hitting hero, going 4-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Jorge Cantu hit a three-run homer in the first inning off left-hander Scott Olsen. Emilio Bonifacio hit a two-run triple against Collin Balester.
Nationals at the plate: Designated hitter Josh Willingham played in his first game of the spring and hit a home run in his first at-bat off right-hander Ricky Nolasco. Ryan Zimmerman also homered in the sixth inning against right-hander Chris Leroux.
Marlins on the mound: Nolasco lasted three innings and gave up one run. He struck out five batters and didn't allow a walk in the game.
Nationals on the mound: Olsen started his first game since last July, allowing three runs on seven hits in two innings. Balester also had a rough outing, allowing three runs in 2 1/3 innings. Nats pitchers have allowed 67 runs on 91 hits.
Worth noting: In the second inning, Willie Harris was thrown out at the plate after Elijah Dukes singled to left. It marked the third time in two games a Nationals player was thrown out at the plate.
Grapefruit League records: Marlins 6-2; Nationals 0-6.
Up next: It's a big day for the Nationals as right-hander Stephen Strasburg will make his Spring Training debut against the Tigers on Tuesday on MLB.TV at 1:05 p.m. ET. Strasburg is expected to pitch two innings or throw 30 to 40 pitches.
The Marlins play the Red Sox in Jupiter, Fla., at 1:05 p.m. Marlins right-hander Anibal Sanchez will face Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.