at Lakeland, Fla.
Tuesday, March 23
Nationals at the plate: Former Tigers catcher Ivan Rodriguez broke up Detroit's hitless pitching with a one-out single in the fifth, which started a string of four straight singles and was capped by Alberto Gonzalez's RBI bloop hit. Rodriguez added an RBI double his next time up in the seventh.
Tigers at the plate: Austin Jackson, who had been 1-for-11 over his previous three games, broke out of his slump in a big way with two doubles, one for a two-out RBI, and a well-placed bunt single. He set up another run with a steal of third base on Rodriguez. Gerald Laird celebrated his day at designated hitter with a two-run homer and a double. Alex Avila had three hits, including a pair of two doubles.
Nationals on the mound: Starter Scott Olsen gave up hits to eight of the nine Tigers in the starting lineup, allowing six runs on 12 hits over 4 1/3 innings to raise his ERA to 9.64 for the spring. Miguel Batista followed with 1 2/3 scoreless innings and struck out two.
Tigers on the mound: Starter Max Scherzer tossed four hitless innings, retiring 13 of the first 14 batters he faced, before four consecutive singles -- two ground balls, two bloopers -- plated a run. He ended the threat with a ground-ball double play to finish his outing with five innings of one-run, four-hit ball to go with four strikeouts. Ryan Perry pitched a perfect sixth inning.
Worth noting: Nationals Gold Glove third baseman Ryan Zimmerman made a nice backhanded grab and strong off-balance flip across the infield to rob Scott Sizemore of an infield single in the fifth inning.
Grapefruit League records: Nationals 5-14, Tigers 12-8-1.
Up next: The Tigers have their lone scheduled off-day of Spring Training on Wednesday, though Rick Porcello will pitch in a camp game at 10 a.m. ET. Detroit returns to action with a split-squad set Thursday that could help determine the course of the rotation. After Dontrelle Willis faces the Blue Jays for the second time in four days with his start at 1:05 p.m. at Joker Marchant Stadium, Jeremy Bonderman will be stretched out to 75 pitches Thursday night in a 7:05 matchup at Space Coast Stadium in Viera, Fla.
The Nationals head west from here to Tampa, where they'll visit George M. Steinbrenner Field on Wednesday night for a 7:05 meeting with the Yankees. Livan Hernandez will make his second outing of the spring for Washington opposite Javier Vazquez. That game will be online at MLB.TV and in the Washington area on MASN.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.