March 11, 2015

VIERA, Fla. (AP) Jordan Zimmermann knows he won't be facing the Detroit Tigers during the regular season. With that in mind, the Washington Nationals right-hander took a slightly different approach in his second spring training outing.

''I was actually setting guys up, pitching the way I normally would during the season, and for the most part it went well,'' Zimmermann said.

It was a pretty good day for Washington's hitters, too: The Nationals had seven extra-base hits - including two doubles by Ryan Zimmerman - in a 9-2 victory over Detroit on Wednesday.

Zimmermann, who will be a free agent after the 2015 season, went 2 2-3 innings, giving up one run on two hits while striking out four. Unlike his first outing, he was able to command his fastball better, even getting Detroit's Jefry Marte looking at a called third strike to end the second inning.

''He must have been looking for something else, because . it was down, but it was still (on) the inner third (of the plate),'' Zimmermann said.

Zimmerman had two RBIs, Matt Skole hit a two-run home run and Drew Vettleson added a solo shot for Washington. Wilmer Difo had a double and a triple and scored twice.

STARTING TIME

Tigers: While he got knocked around a little bit, David Price said he felt good after his second spring outing. Price lasted just two innings, giving up four runs on four extra-base hits. He threw 54 pitches and said after two spring starts he is ''getting into the swing of things.''

The left-hander didn't have a good feel for his curveball, but said everything else was working. He just needs to execute his pitches better.

''My cutter was OK,'' Price said. ''My changeup was down for the most part. Curveball, didn't really have a good feel for it. My fastball was, I guess, up in the zone a little bit, but I made some pretty good pitches with it as well. It's part of the process.''

Nationals: Zimmermann enjoys the freedom facing teams the Nationals won't see during the season. ''You definitely want to face a couple of American League teams (in spring training),' Zimmermann said. ''These guys aren't going to see us, and we're not going to see them, so it's good not having to hold anything back and just going right after them.''

TRAINER'S ROOM

Tigers: Catcher Alex Avila was pulled after the first inning with lower back stiffness. It's the second time this spring that Avila's back has tightened up. The first came on Feb. 27 and forced him to miss several workouts. ''It's not as bad as the last time, but he won't play tomorrow,'' Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said.

Nationals: Third baseman Anthony Rendon was a late scratch from the lineup. Manager Matt Williams said Rendon has some swelling on the inside of his left knee as a result of making a diving stop during Monday's game against Atlanta. ''It's just purely precautionary,'' Williams said. ''There's no issue other than (it's) bruised. He should be good to go in a day or so.'' ... Following Wednesday's game Williams said Stephen Strasburg will miss his scheduled start Thursday against New York because of an ingrown toenail.

UP NEXT

Nationals: Will face NL East rival the New York Mets, who are scheduled to start rookie of the year Jacob deGrom.

Tigers: Will be back in Lakeland where Justin Verlander will get the start against Philadelphia's Jerome Williams.

LOOKING AHEAD

Nationals: Outfielder Nate McLouth will make his first start of the spring, but it will be as the designated hitter. McLouth, who went 1 for 2 Wednesday in his spring debut, is still on a throwing program as he recovers from offseason shoulder surgery. If all goes well, he should return to the field sometime next week.

Tigers: Reliever Bruce Rondon is expected to make his first appearance this spring when the Tigers host the Phillies. Rondon missed all of last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery last March.

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