Bill Ladson

Scherzer sharp, Wacha not in Nats-Cards tie

Scherzer sharp, Wacha not in Nats-Cards tie

VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman played his first game of the spring, a 4-4 tie with the Cardinals at Space Coast Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The Nationals went right to work on Cardinals right-hander Michael Wacha, scoring three runs in the first inning. Ben Revere scored the first run on a double by Bryce Harper. Jayson Werth then scored on a wild pitch by Wacha. Zimmerman, who sat out the first 12 games as a precaution due to his left foot issues, singled to left field, scoring Harper.

Wacha, who pitched a scoreless second, allowed three runs on six hits and recorded two strikeouts over his two innings of work.

Harper's RBI double

Nationals righty Max Scherzer was solid for four innings, allowing a run on two hits and striking out five, including three in the first. The run scored in the second when Jeremy Hazelbaker scored on a double by Carson Kelly.

Washington had a two-run lead going into the eighth, but right-hander Erik Davis couldn't protect the lead as the Cardinals scored three runs. Greg Garcia grounded out, but Dean Anna scored on an error to make it 3-2. Hazelbaker drove in the tying run on a single to right, then scored the go-ahead run on a single by Paul DeJong.

Hazelbaker's RBI single

But Washington tied the score at 4 in the bottom of the inning off right-hander Sandy Alcantara. With one out, Pedro Severino singled to left, scoring Jason Martinson.

Up next for the Cardinals: Right-hander Mike Leake will make his second Grapefruit League start Monday when the Cards host the Twins at Roger Dean Stadium at 12:05 p.m. CT. Leake allowed two hits and struck out a pair in his first start against the Marlins. Left-hander Tommy Milone will start for Minnesota.

Up next for the Nationals: The Nats return to Space Coast Stadium to play the Astros on Monday at 1:05 p.m. ET. It will be the third spring game between the teams, with each team winning one of the previous matchups. Washington right-hander Joe Ross will start and is expected to throw four innings and 65 pitches.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for 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.