Scherzer shows mettle in Nationals' victory

Scherzer shows mettle in Nationals' victory

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Catcher Jose Lobaton tallied two RBIs, and Max Scherzer survived a tenuous first inning by allowing just one run to lead the Nationals to a 4-2 victory over the Astros on Tuesday afternoon at Osceola County Stadium.

Scherzer, making his second start of the spring, allowed three singles and a walk in a 37-pitch first inning, but he was tagged for only one run on Colby Rasmus' RBI single to right field. Scherzer exited after allowing three hits and one run in two innings.

Box score

Astros starter Doug Fister, facing his former team, went three innings and allowed two hits, one run and three walks. He struck out three batters.

"After being traded a few times and being on different teams, you kind of get used to playing against old teammates," Fister said. "It's always a good challenge to face guys that know you and know what you're going to do, like [Lobaton]. He's at the plate and knows me well and it's a challenge. I've got to execute, and when I don't, he does what he did."

The Astros took a 1-0 lead in the first when Jose Altuve, George Springer and Rasmus each singled. They proceeded to load the bases in the first against Scherzer, who got first-base prospect A.J. Reed to hit into a fielder's choice to conclude a 13-pitch at-bat. He then struck out Jon Singleton.

Scherzer gets out of a jam

Derek Fisher hit a home run to right field for the Astros in the seventh.

Fisher's solo homer

Up next for the Astros: Dallas Keuchel, the 2015 American League Cy Young Award winner, makes his Grapefruit League debut when the Astros meet the Braves at 12:05 p.m. CT on Wednesday at Osceola County Stadium. Keuchel has been on an individualized throwing program this spring.

Up next for the Nationals: The Nats travel to Lakeland on Wednesday for a 1:05 p.m. ET game against the Tigers. Left-hander Gio Gonzalez will make the start. In his last outing, Gonzalez pitched two shutout innings against the Marlins.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.