March 27, 2015

VIERA, Fla. (AP) Washington first baseman Ryan Zimmerman made an early exit after jarring himself diving for a grounder, and the Nationals said he was OK after a 1-1 tie with the split-squad St. Louis Cardinals on Friday.

The oft-injured Zimmerman made a dive to the left, and was pulled after the second inning.

''He's good,'' Williams said. ''He's played three in a row. He's fine. He dove for that ball, banged himself a little bit. But he's good. No worries. ... If he had to play, he could play. No issues.''

Injuries have been a recurring theme for the Nationals this spring.

Center fielder Denard Span had surgery on March 9 to repair a core muscle injury and won't be back for opening day. That same day, third baseman Anthony Rendon sprained his left knee making a diving play - though the team initially said it was a short-term injury, he has not played since and his status for the opener is in doubt.

Right fielder Jayson Werth and backup outfielder Nate McLouth are both still rehabbing from offseason shoulder surgery and might not be ready for the start of the season.

Most of the injuries Zimmerman has had throughout his career have come when he's tried to make a diving stop.

''No more of those,'' Williams said. ''We don't want any more of those. He's good, though.''

Zimmerman was not on the Nationals' travel roster for Saturday's road game against the New York Mets. That was likely a planned thing since, as Williams mentioned, he has played three consecutive games. Washington hosts the Miami Marlins on Sunday.

Nationals closer Drew Storen made his second spring training appearance and threw one scoreless inning. He had not pitched since March 11, two days before the righty had surgery to remove a bone in his left hand.

Washington starter Jordan Zimmermann allowed one run over six innings.

Carlos Martinez, vying for the fifth spot in the St. Louis rotation, gave up one run in five innings.

Jose Lobaton had three hits for the Nationals, including a pair of doubles. The game was stopped after nine innings.

ZIMMERMANN NOT OPTIMISTIC

Despite dealing with a nasty crosswind that made his breaking pitches hard to control, Zimmermann had his longest outing of the spring.

Not only is the right-hander closing in on the start of the season, but also his opening day deadline to get a contract extension worked out with the team.

''I'm not going to talk during the season, so if something gets done before the season, which is probably pretty rare right now, then it gets done,'' Zimmermann said. ''But it's not looking good.''

STARTING TIME

Martinez said he thought this was his best outing of the spring. A candidate for the fifth starter spot, he believes he has stated his case.

''I've been working hard,'' Martinez said through a translator. ''Some of the outings haven't gone as good as I've wanted to, but I'm just trying to learn from that and get better every day.''

TRAINER'S ROOM

OF Bryce Harper, who was sent home with a stomach bug on Thursday, was back in the lineup Friday and went 1 for 4.

UP NEXT

Cardinals: Lance Lynn gets the start as the Cardinals travel to Lakeland to face the Tigers.

Nationals: Stephen Strasburg starts as Washington travels to Port St. Lucie to play the New York Mets. He missed his previously scheduled start because of a twisted left ankle. Williams said Strasburg will likely go four innings.

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