VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon had a good day against the Marlins on Sunday afternoon, going 1-for-3 for with a two-run homer and making a great defensive play in the third inning.
With runners on first and second and no outs in the third inning, Chone Figgins bunted the ball toward third base. Rendon grabbed the ball and zipped it overhand to first baseman Chad Tracy for the first out of the inning.
During the one hour, six minute rain delay in the fourth inning, manager Davey Johnson was thinking about taking Rendon out of the game.
"I was watching [Johnson] walk around the dugout telling everyone to sit down," Rendon said. "I was sitting quietly, making sure he might not see me. He looks at me and says, 'You will get another at-bat.' I said, 'Ah, good.'"
Good thing Rendon stayed in the game. One inning after the delay, with the Nationals behind, 1-0, and Steve Lombardozzi on second base, the right-handed hitting Rendon swung at a pitch from Ryan Webb and hit an opposite-field home run over the right field wall to give Washington a one-run lead.
"I made the best of it. That was a bright side of it," Rendon said.
Rendon, the Nationals' first-round pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, is expected to start the season with Double-A Harrisburg. He will most likely start the season at third base. This spring, however, Johnson has been teaching Rendon the nuances at second base.
"It was awesome. It was little bit on what we did last year," Rendon said. "He re-implemented what we were doing. He kind of helped the footwork. Stay calm. It was more of a slow it down, get your footwork right. Once you get more comfortable with it, you will get a lot quicker."