MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Nats' big bats make up for Fister's rocky start

Harper, Nationals mash four homers; righty gives up six runs in four innings

Nats' big bats make up for Fister's rocky start

VIERA, Fla. -- The Nationals and Marlins found themselves in a slugfest on Sunday afternoon at Space Coast Stadium. When it was over, it was the Nats who won the game, 11-7.

Neither starter was effective, and they came away with nearly identical lines. Washington righty Doug Fister gave up six runs on eight hits, including three homers, in four innings. He walked one and struck out two. Miami right-hander Tom Koehler was also tagged for six runs in four innings, but on 10 hits, including three homers. He struck out three against two walks.

The game was tied at 7 when Washington scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Jose Lobaton highlighted the scoring with a three-run homer off right-hander Nick Masset.

The Nationals started the game by tallying three runs in the first inning against Koehler. Michael Taylor, who was 3-for-3 on the day, led off and hit a solo home run. Two batters later, Bryce Harper (2-for-3) hit a two-run homer over the right-field wall to give the Nationals a 3-0 lead.

But Miami came back and tied the score at 3 in the top of second against Fister. Marcell Ozuna (2-for-2) made it a one-run game by hitting a two-run homer. Jarrod Saltalamacchia (2-for-3) followed with a solo homer of his own.

An inning later, Giancarlo Stanton gave Miami a two-run lead with a two-run homer over the left-center-field wall.

The Nationals would tie things up against Koehler in the bottom of the third inning. With one out, Wilson Ramos (3-for-3) hit a solo home run over the center-field wall. Ian Desmond scored on a sacrifice fly by Mike Carp.

Up next: The Nationals travel to Jupiter, Fla., to play the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium at 1:05 p.m. ET. Max Scherzer was scheduled to pitch in that game, but he will pitch in a Minor League contest instead. He is set for approximately 95 pitches. Right-hander Taylor Jordan will come in from Minor League camp and pitch against St. Louis. He has allowed three runs in eight innings this spring.

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