Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Newly renovated Ed Smith Stadium, spring training home of the Orioles.
The Nationals actually brought a decent number of regulars on the three-hour trip from Viera. Ian Desmond (a Sarasota native), Danny Espinosa, Rick Ankiel and Wilson Ramos are here. So are Jesus Flores and Steve Lombardozzi.
Edwin Jackson makes the start, looking to bounce back from a four-run, seven-hit outing earlier this week against the Tigers. Updates to come throughout...
WASHINGTON NATIONALS vs. BALTIMORE ORIOLES
Where: Ed Smith Stadium, Sarasota
Gametime: 1:05 p.m.
TV: MASN, MLB Network (outside of Balt/DC area), MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), WSPZ (570 AM).
Weather: Partly cloudy, 82 degrees, Wind 13 mph in from RF
STARTING LINEUPS1:06 p.m. -- Ian Desmond gets a big ovation from the hometown fans and then takes ball one from Jake Arrieta as this game gets underway.
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
CF Rick Ankiel
1B Chad Tracy
C Wilson Ramos
DH Jesus Flores
LF Corey Brown
RF Brett Carroll
3B Steve Lombardozzi
(P Edwin Jackson)
RF Ryan Flaherty
SS J.J. Hardy
DH Wilson Betemit
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
3B Mark Reynolds
1B Chris Davis
LF Nolan Reimold
2B Robert Andino
(P Jake Arrieta)
1:17 p.m. -- Solid top of the first for the Nats, who come away with a run thanks to Danny Espinosa's double down the left-field line and Wilson Ramos' RBI single to right. Jesus Flores did blow a chance to add to the lead when he struck out with two on and two out. Still, the way the Nationals have been going at the plate the last week or so, they'll take any early run they can get. 1-0 as we go to the bottom of the first.
1:25 p.m. -- And that's why Rick Ankiel is going to be the Nats' center fielder on Opening Day. Just fired a laser to the plate to nail Adam Jones. Unfortunately, it came seconds after Matt Wieters' blooper fell into a Bermuda triangle in shallow center field, bringing one run home. So it's 1-1 after one.
1:35 p.m. -- Wow, really nice bottom of the second for Edwin Jackson, especially the part where he struck out Chris Daveis and Robert Andino on some nasty stuff to end the inning. Still 1-1 after two.
1:54 p.m. -- So much for those good Edwin vibes. He just melted down in the third, starting with a throwing error on a pickoff attempt. That preceded three straight two-out hits: Wilson Betemit's RBI single, Jones' single and Wieters' three-run blast to left. So it's now 5-1 Orioles after three, though only one of the runs is earned. When I become commissioner, I'm changing that rule. If a pitcher commits the error that allows runs to score, they should be charged to him.
2:19 p.m. -- Well, this isn't going well at all. Edwin Jackson is done for the day, and he didn't depart in stellar fashion after allowing five more runs on four more hits (and two Lombardozzi errors) in the bottom of the fourth. Jackson winds up allowing 10 runs on 11 hits today. Over his last 11 innings, he's now given up 18 runs, 23 hits and seven walks. That's not good. Nats trail 10-1 after four.
2:36 p.m. -- And now Ryan Mattheus serves up a solo homer to Reimold in the fifth. It's 11-1. The last three Nationals' starters' ERA: 13.85. Is that good?
2:49 p.m. -- At least we got to see Dontrelle Willis making his Orioles debut. And what a debut it was. He walked the first three batters he faced. And added a wild pitch in there for good measure. Throw in a Mark Reynolds error, and the Nats got two runs back without benefit of a base hit. This is some quality baseball being played here today. It's 11-3 in the sixth, and Pat Sajak (who is sitting in the press box for some reason) is trying to figure out why he's here.
3:14 p.m. -- Just got back from the clubhouse. Edwin Jackson wasn't overly worried about his start, saying he was mostly upset about the two walks he issued and leaving the ball up in the zone a bit much. But it's clear he doesn't put much stock in the results here. "I've never had good spring trainings," he said. "So definitely games like this don't affect my confidence." Ian Desmond, meanwhile, had as many as 200 friends and family in the stands. He lives 1 1/2 miles from the ballpark, and his high school is right down the street. "It was great," he said. "One of the better days of my career." Oh yeah, it's 12-3 Orioles after seven. And Pat Sajak is still here for some reason.
3:34 p.m. -- It's over. Final: Orioles 12, Nats 3. Sajak stayed til the bitter end.