MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Stras, Zimmermann debut as Nats top Tigers

Stras, Zimmermann debut as Nats top Tigers

VIERA, Fla. -- In a matchup featuring Tigers right-hander Jordan Zimmermann against his former teammate, Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg, Washington outslugged Detroit en route to an 8-4 victory Saturday afternoon at Space Coast Stadium. 

In a 4-4 game in the sixth, Scott Sizemore homered off right-hander Jose Valdez over the left-center-field wall to give Washington a one-run lead. It was Sizemore's second homer of the spring. An inning later, with the bases loaded and Detroit left-hander Jairo Labourt on the mound, Jason Martinson walked, scoring Brendan Ryan.

In the eighth, Matt Skole hit a two-run homer against Tigers left-hander Kevin Ziomek to make it 8-4.

While there wasn't much riding on the game, there was some friendly competition between Zimmermann and the Nationals, the team he played with for seven years. He pitched 2 2/3 innings and allowed one run on one hit. He acknowledged that it was weird to face his former teammates.

"I went out there and attacked them like I have been doing all along," Zimmermann said. "You know some of these guys' tendencies. Obviously, they switched it up on me. With J-Dub [Jayson Werth], I threw him a first-pitch heater and he takes the first pitch. I figured he might be swinging. I kind of threw it for a ball and then threw the slider. He was yelling at me after he popped up. It was fun."

Making his spring debut, Strasburg was dominant for the most part, pitching two innings, allowing two runs on two hits and striking out five. His only mistake came in the second when he allowed a two-run homer to Bryan Holaday, who added a two-run shot off A.J. Cole in the fourth.

"I threw a lot of good pitches," Strasburg said. "[I threw] one bad pitch, but that's to be expected. I'm going to keep working on the pitch selection and fine-tune everything. Kind of struggled throwing in to righties a little bit. I was kind of yanking them a tad. The curveball and fastball felt really good."

Up next for Tigers: Miguel Cabrera returns to the starting lineup Sunday for a 1:05 p.m. ET game against the Marlins at Joker Marchant Stadium. Ian Kinsler, Justin Upton, Victor Martinez, J.D. Martinez, James McCann, Anthony Gose and Jose Iglesias are also expected to start. Matt Boyd will make his second spring start.

Up next for the Nationals: The Nats travel to Jupiter, Fla., to play the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium for the first time this spring. Right-hander Blake Treinen will get the start. He is expected to pitch two innings and throw 35 pitches. Manager Dusty Baker said he wasn't sure if Treinen would start or relieve this year. Treinen spent the 2015 season as a reliever. He had a tough time getting left-handed hitters out as they hit .336 against him.

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.