Pitchers dominate as Nats, Tigers play 0-0, 10-inning tie
VIERA, Fla. (AP) Detroit's Anibal Sanchez got back to what makes him successful, Washington's Gio Gonzalez was just happy offseason work to strengthen his left shoulder appears to have helped.
Each allowed just two hits Thursday in a 0-0, 10-inning tie.
Sanchez, who gave up four runs in his previous outing, against Philadelphia, struck out six and walked none in five innings. He was scheduled to throw up to 75 pitches, but was so efficient he needed only 52.
''It wasn't a specific pitch, it was my location,'' he said. ''I threw my two-seamer away and my cutter away to both sides of the plate. I feel like I can dominate if I can locate it very well.''
Gonzalez struck out five in four innings.
The sore shoulder that resulted in a stint on the disabled list last season has not bothered him this year. In addition shoulder exercises, he gained 10-to-15 pounds during the offseason.
''I worked my tail off to get my shoulder in shape,'' he said. ''I'm just happy I put on some weight in the offseason. I got some of that good Cuban food, and from there on I just started eating as much as I can.''
Gonzalez credited catcher Wilson Ramos for calling a great game, even when he ''stuck to his guns'' on pitches Gonzalez tried to shake off. Ramos said he has noticed a big difference in Gonzalez this year.
''He's aggressive. His fastball has life,'' Ramos said. ''I feel happy for him because we need that guy in the rotation. He can win more than 20 games.''
Washington's Tanner Roark, still training as a starting pitcher, threw two scoreless innings in relief on Thursday.
Detroit reliever Al Alburquerque threw one scoreless inning, and Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said it was the best the right-hander has looked this spring training.
Nationals 2B Yunel Escobar (strained left oblique) fielded more than 40 ground balls and took batting practice on one of the back fields following the team's morning practice. He could see some action either on the minor or major league level in the next few days.
Washington LF Jayson Werth is expected to play in a minor league game Friday. Recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, Werth won't hit but will play defense to give his legs some work.
Tigers pitcher Ian Krol, who was scratched Wednesday because of left forearm tightness, threw a bullpen session on Thursday and reported no issues. Ausmus said Krol likely will pitch Friday.
Washington optioned LHP Matt Grace and C Dan Butler to Triple-A Syracuse and INF Wilmer Difo to Class A Potomac.
Nationals: Max Scherzer is to make his fourth start when Washington plays Houston in Kissimmee. Samuel Deduno is scheduled to throw for Houston.
Tigers: Alfredo Simon is scheduled to start against the Yankees in Lakeland, and Adam Warren is scheduled to pitch for the Yankees.