JUPITER, Fla. (AP) In a matchup of high-priced stars, Washington’s Max Scherzer got Giancarlo Stanton to ground into a double play and then struck out the slugger in the Nationals’ 2-1 loss to the Miami Marlins on Tuesday.
Scherzer, signed to a $210 million, seven-year deal as a free agent, allowed one run and six hits in three innings with three strikeouts and no walks.
Dee Gordon led off the bottom of the first with a bunt single, stole second, advanced on wild pitch and scored on the first of Chrsitian Yelich’s three singles. Stanton, signed to a record $325 million, 13-year-old deal, followed with a one-hopper that became a 4-6-3 double play.
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New baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred attended the game and watched the big-bucks stars face each other.
”It is an astounding set of numbers, I will give you that,” he said. ”Numbers like that on player contracts I see as a reflection of the health of the game in terms of the revenues that were generated.”
Stanton struck out on a checked swing on a low-and-away pitch in the third.
”He’s probably the best hitter in the National League,” Scherzer said. ”I think Stanton is unbelievable, but Miggy’s on another level,” Scherzer added, a reference to former Detroit teammate Miguel Cabrera, the 2012 AL Triple Crown winner.
Stanton also struck out against Taylor Jordan in the fifth and is 1 for 9 (.111) in spring training. He played down the big-bucks matchup.
Washington tied the game in the sixth an RBI double by former Marlin Dan Uggla.
Derek Dietrich hit a game-ending homer in the ninth off Bruce Billings.
Marlins: Dan Haren allowed one hit in three innings in his second outing, throwing 25 of 35 pitches for strikes.
Nationals: Jordan Zimmerman is to make his second spring start on Wednesday when Detroit comes to Viera. Zimmerman allowed one hit in two innings during his spring training debut.
Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria is expected back in the lineup on Wednesday. Hechavarria has been dealing with what Miami has called a tired shoulder and hasn’t played since Thursday.
Miami pitcher Mat Latos, acquired in an offseason trade with Cincinnati, is scheduled to make his first start Friday. Latos had been scheduled to pitch on Monday, but threw live batting practice on a back field.
HARPER TO CENTER?
Washington manager Matt Williams said Bryce Harper could play some center field on occasion because Denard Span will miss the start of the season following core muscle surgery. Williams would prefer to have Harper get comfortable in right field.
The Mets’ Matt Harvey and the Marlins’ Henderson Alvarez start Wednesday at Roger Dean Stadium. Washington faces Detroit’s David Price in Viera.