VIERA, Fla. -- Eric Young Jr.'s two-run homer proved to be the difference as the Braves beat the Nationals, 2-1, at Space Coast Stadium on Monday afternoon. The Nationals have now lost two consecutive games, while the Braves won their second game of the spring.
Nationals right-hander Tanner Roark was on the mound when the Braves took the lead in the top of the third inning. After Daniel Castro singled, Young swung at an 0-1 pitch and homered over the right-field wall to take a 2-0 lead.
The Nationals' first chance to score came in the third inning. With Braves starter Wandy Rodriguez still on the mound, Tony Gwynn Jr. and Anthony Rendon hit back-to-back singles, but Dan Uggla grounded out to end the threat. Rodriguez ended up pitching three scoreless innings and striking out two batters.
Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez made his first appearance of the spring, and he allowed one hit in two innings. He threw just 19 pitches, 15 strikes. Braves right-hander Chien-Ming Wang was also solid, pitching three innings and allowing just two hits and a walk.
The Nationals scored their only run in the ninth inning with Braves right-hander Jake Brigham on the mound. With two outs, Steven LeRud doubled to left-center field, scoring Matt Skole.
Up next: The Nationals travel to Jupiter Fla., to play the Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium on Tuesday afternoon. Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer will make his second start of the spring. In his last start, Scherzer pitched two innings and allowed a run in a 5-4 victory over the Mets. Taylor Jordan, Jerry Blevins and Heath Bell are expected pitch against the Marlins as well.