Moore homers, drives in 5 as Nationals beat Braves 9-8
KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) Tyler Moore homered, tripled and drove in five runs, leading the Washington Nationals past the Atlanta Braves 9-8 Friday.
Moore hit a two-run homer and a bases-loaded triple, and is 4 for 5 after two exhibition games. He hit .231 for the Nationals last year with four homers in 42 games.
Washington starter Jordan Zimmermann pitched two scoreless innings in his spring debut, allowing a hit and a walk.
Zimmermann is part of a starting rotation that includes Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Doug Fister. He knows he may be the fifth starter despite going 14-5 with a 2.66 ERA last season.
''My fastball isn't there just yet, but it was everything I expected on my first day,'' Zimmermann said. ''I was just pitching to throw strikes.''
Atlanta starter Alex Wood gave up two runs in two innings, including Moore's homer.
Freddie Freeman homered for the Braves and Pedro Ciriaco had three hits and three RBIs.
Moore is contending for spots at first base and in the outfield. He batted .231 for the Nationals last year with four homers in 42 games.
Zimmermann said there's an urgency this year for the Nationals, who have been perceived as underachievers for several years.
''We have a great team, but we have a lot of potential free agents this offseason,'' Zimmermann said. ''This is a big year for all of us.''
Wood said he didn't bring out his full arsenal knowing that he would be facing the Nationals often this season.
''We play down any rivalry in spring training,'' Wood said. ''I won't be pitching the same way in the regular season.''
Wood faced former teammate Dan Uggla for the first time. Uggla is trying to make the Nationals roster after several years with the Braves.
''It was odd seeing him in another uniform,'' Wood said. ''It was strange. I'll see him again.''
Nationals: Yunel Escobar is still out with back stiffness and didn't make the trip to Kissimmee. Nationals manager Matt Williams said it was a precautionary measure to rest Escobar until he is examined by doctors.
Braves: LHP Mike Minor is experiencing shoulder discomfort and is out indefinitely.
BACK ON THE FIELD
Nationals: Tony Gwynn, Jr., walked and scored a run in two at-bats. He made his first appearance on the field since his release from the Philadelphia Phillies. Grieving the death of his father, Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, he had struggled to a .152 season that included a stint in the minors.
ONE MORE CHANCE?
Nationals: Uggla went 1-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored in his first game with the Nationals.
He struggled mightily his last three years. He hasn't batted anywhere close to .200 since 2012 and that earned him a release from the Atlanta Braves and another release from the San Francisco Giants, where he went 0-for-11 in a brief stint.
Braves: Shelby Miller will make his Braves debut in a split-squad game in Kissimmee against Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers. Mike Foltynewicz will start for the Braves in Port St. Lucie against the New York Mets.