Mar 17, 2015; Lakeland, FL, USA;Detroit Tigers starting pitcherJustin Verlander
(35) throws a pitch during the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Joker Marchant Stadium. The green colors are in celebration for St. Patrick
The Detroit Tigers did not get back to their winning ways against the Washington Nationals as they dropped their 5th straight game 6-4.
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Justin Verlander got the start for the Tigers and got roughed up. In the first, he gave up a run on a “triple” to Ian Desmond on a ball that Yoenis Cespedes should have caught. Desmond scored on a single from Wilson Ramos after Verlander struck out Bryce Harper. Verlander surrendered another run in the 3rd on a home run from Tony Gwynn Jr. Verlander’s day was done after the Nationals added two more after a single from Ramos and a two run home run from Kila Ka’aihue. Verlander’s final line was 4 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3K.
The Tigers could not get to Steven Strasberg who got the win. He pitched 4 innings, surrendering 3 hits, but did not surrender any walks or runs while striking out five.
Joe Nathan pitched in the 5th and was welcomed by a showering of boos. Nathan then pitched a perfect inning with a strikeout on three pitches of Gwynn Jr. Joakim Soria followed Nathan in the 6th and matched Nathan with a strikeout of Harper.
The Tigers got on the board in the 6th on a solo home run against A.J. Cole which cut into the Nationals’ lead making the game 4-1.
The Nationals widened their lead in the 7th off of Joba Chamberlain who was wild and ineffective. Dan Uggla singled and had Emmanuel Burris pinch run for him. Burris stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Ka’aihue walked and Kevin Frandsen was hit by a pitch loading the bases. Matt Skole singled scoring Burris and moving everyone else up 90 feet. Wilmer Difo hit a sacrifice fly scoring another run. A ground ball and a fly out then got Joba out of the inning after 2 earned runs, 2 hits, a walk, a hit by pitch, and a wild pitch giving the Nationals the 6-1 lead.
Bruce Rondon pitched in the 8th. Jason Back said his fastball command was a little bit off, but he spotted his sliders well. Rondon gave up 2 hits and struck out two in a scoreless inning.
The Tigers got closer to the Nationals in the 8th with Jerry Blevins on the mound. Jason Krizan led off with a single and Wynton Bernard walked. Josh Wilson and Steven Moya then struck out each on 3 pitches. Krizan and Bernard executed a double steal while Wilson was at the plate. Tyler Collins then hit a 3 run home run to right field, cutting the lead to 6-4.
The Tigers threatened but did not score in the ninth. James McCann singled and Bernard walked, but were stranded on first and second as the tying runs as the game ended 6-4.
The Tigers play next tomorrow at 6:05 at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Florida against the Pittsburgh Pirates.