04/01/12 3:30 PM ET
In spring finale, Gio holds Cardinals in check
By Jenifer Langosch / MLB.com
Jaime Garcia, who will start the Cardinals' second regular-season game, pitched five scoreless innings before Danny Espinosa tied the game at 1 with a homer off the Cards' left-hander. The homer was Espinosa's first and just his third extra-base hit of the spring.
Garcia scattered four other hits in his longest Grapefruit League outing. He struck out three and didn't allow a walk. He last issued a free pass in his March 17 start, when he walked three. Garcia threw 79 pitches, 49 for strikes.
Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez was just as good, also allowing just one run in five innings. Consecutive fourth-inning doubles by Tyler Greene and Carlos Beltran pushed across the game's first run. Gonzalez allowed only one other hit, and he upped his spring strikeout total to 26 with seven.
Gonzalez, who hasn't pitched past the fifth all spring, threw 52 of his 81 pitches for strikes. He walked just one.
Tom Gorzelanny followed Gonzalez and retired all six batters he faced. Relievers Victor Marte and Fernando Salas pitched a scoreless inning for St. Louis.
Up next for the Nationals: The Nationals travel to Fort Myers to play the Red Sox on Monday at 1:35 p.m. ET. It will be Washington's last Spring Training game in Florida. Right-hander Jordan Zimmermann will make his last spring start before making his season debut against the Cubs on April 8. In his previous start, Zimmermann pitched six shutout innings in a 3-2 victory over the Mets.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.