JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — Nate McLouth hit an RBI double in the first inning and his second spring-training home run in the sixth, helping the Washington Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 4-1 Monday.
“His swing is coming,” Nationals manager Matt Williams about. “He’s getting to the point that he’s getting the bat head on those heaters. He’s right where he needs to be.”
In a game played in constant drizzle, Nationals starter Taylor Jordan allowed one run and five hits in 5 2-3 innings.
“He’s pitched well the whole spring for us,” Williams said. “He’s been using the sinker more. He’s just pounded the strike zone in his last couple of outings.”
Miami starter Tom Koehler gave up two runs and five hits in six innings.
Washington swept its four spring-training games against the Marlins.
Giancarlo Stanton had an RBI double for Miami.
Nationals: Taylor Jordan, who had 58 strikes in 86 pitches, is taking a wait-and-see attitude in his competition with Tanner Roark for the Nationals’ fifth rotation spot.
“I’m just extremely pleased I’ve come back as strong as I have after breaking my ankle in the offseason,” Jordan said.
Marlins: Koehler threw 54 strikes among 91 pitches.
“Today was one of those days where you had the weather, and we weren’t sure we were going to start on time,” Miami manager Mike Redmond said. “He got off to a rough start from the beginning. You’re not going to have your best stuff every day.”
Marlins: Adeiny Hechavarria, slowed by a mild groin strain, was replaced by Austin Nola at shortstop in the fifth inning.
Nationals: RHP Blake Treinen was reassigned to minor league camp on Monday.
“He had a great spring and he’s just an exceptional young man,” Williams said. “We let him know that he’s our next wave and he proved everything he had to prove to us this spring.”
MARISNICK STILL BATTLING FOR CENTER
One of the key decisions the Marlins still have to make is between Jake Marisnick and Marcell Ozuna in center field.
Marisnick was 2 for 4 Monday and has nine runs and four RBIs in the exhibition season.
“He continues to improve and tighten up the areas of his game he needs to,” Redmond said. “He’s got a great arm, and he can run the bases, and gives us a lot of weapons out there.”
Marisnick struggled as a rookie when called up from Double-A Jacksonville last July. He had a .183 batting average with one homer and five RBIs in 40 games.
Ozuna left Sunday’s game against the Tigers in the fifth inning because of a leg cramp.
“It was a little cramp,” said Ozuna, who sat out Monday. “But I’m OK. I’m good to go.”
A MASK LIKE THE ONE LEBRON JAMES HAS
Derek Dietrich not only shares Ohio roots with LeBron James.
Dietrich’s mask to protect his broken nose, which he unveiled when playing the field in a minor league game on Monday, was made by the same person who designed James’ protective mask earlier in theBNBA season.
The Dietrich version was clear but included eye black for the under eye area.
What the mask was missing was Marlins colors. But maybe not for long.
“I think we’re trying to find a Marlins sticker for it, dress it up a little bit,” said Redmond, laughing.
Rafael Furcal, who had a hamstring injury, also played in the minor league game as the designated hitter. Greg Dobbs, out with a quadriceps injury, played at first base.
“We’re going to get those guys out there and get them some at-bats and get them moving around and see where they’re out,” Redmond said.