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Detroit at Washington

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Detroit (10-7) «100000010271
Washington (10-9)000001000130

Verlander strong in 5 innings against Nationals


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VIERA, Fla. (AP) Justin Verlander was dominant over five innings and Washington's Jordan Zimmermann gave up his first run of the spring as the Tigers defeated a Nationals split squad 2-1 on Sunday.

Verlander, making his second spring start, allowed one hit, one walk and struck out four. He threw 49 pitches and joked that Tigers pitching coach Jeff Jones purposely jinxed the no-hitter he had going through four innings just to get his pitch count up.

Washington's Adam LaRoche singled off Verlander with two outs in the fifth.

''(Jones) said, `If you keep the no-hitter going, I'll let you go back out,''' Verlander said. ''Which, he was totally lying (about).

''He said it just to jinx it on purpose, which I knew he was doing. I laughed.''

The right-hander then went to the bullpen where he was told to throw 15 more pitches. In typical Verlander fashion, he threw 16.

''Where I'm at today, if I took that into opening day . or whenever my (first regular season) star is, I like my chances,'' Verlander said

then went to the bullpen to throw 16 more.

Zimmermann, meanwhile, struggled with his fastball command. He allowed four hits and one run while striking out three in four innings. His streak of nine scoreless innings in his previous three starts was snapped in the first inning when Detroit's Don Kelly drove home a run with an infield out.

''I fell behind some guys and was working some deep counts, which I don't want to do,'' he said. ''Overall, it was OK. But I wish the fastball command was there a little bit.''

Like Verlander, Zimmermann said he feels confident about the approaching start of the regular season.

''I've felt good all spring,'' Zimmermann said. ''I'm ready to go. It was just one of those days where it was pretty windy out there. I didn't have much command of anything, so it was a little bit of a battle for me.''

STARTING TIME

Tigers: Verlander, who has made six consecutive opening day starts, left no doubt he would like to make it seven in a row. However, he won't be campaigning for it and will leave the decision to new manager Brad Ausmus.

''We're in a pretty unique and very envious position where you've got myself, whose done it for (six) years, you've got Max (Scherzer) who is the reigning Cy Young winner and you've got the reigning ERA champion (Anibal Sanchez),'' Verlander said. ''I think any manager would like to make that tough decision.''

Nationals: Manager Matt Williams wanted Zimmermann to practice bunting in a game situation, so the pitcher got an at-bat in the third inning.

''When I walked up there, I told the catcher (Bryan Holaday), `Just throw it over the middle. I'm just trying to get a bunt down here,''' Zimmermann said. ''I don't know if he believed me or not.''

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals RHP Doug Fister is scheduled to throw two innings (roughly 30 pitches) in a minor league game Monday. Fister has been working his way back after being diagnosed with right elbow inflammation following his first spring training start.

ZIMMERMAN DEBUTS AT FIRST

Ryan Zimmerman saw his first action at first base this spring when he moved over from third base to start the sixth inning.

Zimmerman was tested right away. After a walk to Victor Martinez, Kelly sent a ground ball - and part of his broken bat - toward first. Zimmerman fielded the ball and stepped on first base.

Zimmerman will still be the Nationals third baseman, but he could transition to first base later in his career. He played two innings there Sunday.

''I could go play there right now,'' Zimmerman said. ''I wouldn't be as confident as I wanted to be, but I feel like I could go do that if we needed to.''

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Washington

R. Zimmerman
AB 3
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 0
Detroit

J. Verlander
IP 5.0
H 1
ER 0
BB 1
K 4
 
Detroit Tigers
Rajai Davis , LF3110010.387.457.484
  Ben Guez , RF-CF2000011.500.500.500
Ian Kinsler , 2B2000000.303.395.576
Victor Martinez , DH2010102.316.341.368
  Tyler Collins , RF-DH1000011.276.323.690
Don Kelly , LF3001003.357.424.607
Nick Castellanos , 3B3000002.415.432.707
Trevor Crowe , LF3000111.154.241.192
Bryan Holaday , C3020000.185.233.222
Eugenio Suarez , SS4000012.231.250.269
Ezequiel Carrera , RF4010001.231.286.269
Stephen Lombardozzi , 2B1110000.250.267.250
Danny Worth , 1B1011000.300.389.500
Brandon Loy , 3B1000001.000.000.000
John Murrian , C1000002.167.167.333
Totals342722516  
BATTING
2B - D Worth (4)
RBI - D Kelly (7); D Worth (7)
BASERUNNING
SB - R Davis (5); I Kinsler (2); B Holaday (1); S Lombardozzi 2 (5); D Worth (1)
Detroit Tigers
Justin Verlander 5.01001400.00
Evan Reed 1.00101002.00
Phil Coke (W,1-0) 1.01000105.14
Bruce Rondon 1.01000101.29
Jose Ortega (S,1) 1.00000105.14
Washington Nationals
Denard Span , CF3000000.333.333.500
Ian Desmond , SS3000000.250.250.583
Jayson Werth , RF3000010.267.353.267
Bryce Harper , LF3000010.208.345.333
Ryan Zimmerman , 3B3010000.333.320.542
Adam LaRoche , 1B2010010.321.345.536
Jose Lobaton , C1000111.053.217.053
Jeff Kobernus , 2B2100102.280.333.360
Jordan Zimmermann , SP1000000.000.000.000
Nate McLouth , LF1000001.192.267.346
Will Rhymes , 3B1000011.333.448.333
Jhonatan Solano , C1010000.167.333.167
Jamey Carroll , SS1000001.208.345.375
Eury Perez , CF1000011.286.348.381
Justin Bloxom , 1B1000000.000.000.000
Drew Vettleson , RF1000000.000.000.000
Caleb Ramsey , LF1000011.500.500.500
Chris Snyder , C1000001.333.421.600
Totals30130279  
BATTING
2B - R Zimmerman (2)
BASERUNNING
SB - J Kobernus (2)
Washington Nationals
Jordan Zimmermann 4.04110300.69
Sammy Solis 2.00001000.00
Xavier Cedeno 1.01000004.05
Michael Gonzalez (L,0-1) 1.021111013.50
Blake Treinen 1.00000105.00