MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Nationals win Scherzer's debut on HR by Ka'aihue

Right-hander allows one run over two innings against Mets

Nationals win Scherzer's debut on HR by Ka'aihue

VIERA, Fla. -- Max Scherzer made his Nationals debut and pitched OK, allowing a run over two innings in a 5-4 Washington victory over the Mets at Space Coast Stadium on Thursday night.

Mets starter Bartolo Colon, who could get the Opening Day nod, struck out two over two perfect innings.

The Nationals were down, 4-3, in the seventh inning when they took the lead against right-hander Cory Mazzoni. After Clint Robinson led off with a single, Kila Ka'aihue hammered a 3-2 pitch for a two-run homer over the right-field wall to give Washington the one-run lead.

After a quick first inning, Scherzer found himself in trouble in the second, allowing a run on two hits. The Mets scored the first run of the game on a homer by John Mayberry Jr.

"It's fun. It's good to get out there for the first start of spring," said Scherzer, who signed a seven year, $210 million contract in January. "You've been working hard for the past several months, so it's nice to get out there and actually get on the mound and actually pitch in a game."

In the third inning, Nationals right-hander Tanner Roark was touched for three runs to make it a 4-0 game. Eric Campbell highlighted the scoring with a two-run homer.

After getting hit by a pitch to start the third inning, Mike Carp scored the Nationals' first run on a double by Tyler Moore. Moore scored when Denard Span reached base on a fielding error by Wilfredo Tovar. The Nationals scored their third run of the game an inning later, when Carp scored on an infield single by Derrick Robinson.

Up next: The Nationals travel to Lake Buena Vista to play the Braves at Champion Stadium on Friday at 1:05 p.m. ET (listen on Gameday Audio). Right-hander Jordan Zimmermann will get the start for Washington. Last year, Zimmermann faced Atlanta three times and went 1-1 with a 2.50 ERA. Taylor Jordan, Craig Stammen and Matt Grace are also scheduled to pitch in the game.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.