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Marlins-Nationals rained out

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VIERA, Fla. (AP) The spring training game between the Miami Marlins and Washington Nationals scheduled for Monday was rained out.

The game was canceled before it was set to begin.

Stephen Strasburg's start for the Nationals was pushed back to Tuesday against St. Louis. Max Scherzer will now pitch Wednesday vs. the Mets before the team heads north to play a pair of exhibition games in Washington against the Minnesota Twins.

This was to be the Nationals' last exhibition at Space Coast Stadium before they move into a new complex next spring in West Palm Beach. The Nats and Houston Astros will share the site.

Although the Nationals have held spring training in Viera since 2005, it was manager Dusty Baker's first spring training experience along the Space Coast.

''It's totally different than the rest of Florida,'' Baker said.

Baker said he enjoyed area, including time in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral.

''I just wish I could've had more time,'' Baker said. ''I brought my fishing stuff but, man, it was very tough on those bus trips because I wanted the bus driver to stop every time I saw some water. It'd have taken me like nine hours (to get to a game).''

''Water on this side or that side. I've never seen this much water, ever. Man, there's got to be some bass in there. And some over there, too. Maybe some alligators and snakes. Maybe I'll come back and fish.''

Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez made his last trip to Space Coast Stadium on Sunday. Gonzalez managed the Marlins' Class A affiliate in Viera when the stadium opened in 1994.

''I grew up here, in baseball terms,'' Gonzalez said. ''My first job with an organization was here. There's a lot of memories. I can't believe how much has grown around this place.''

He recalled in those early days, ''it was us, the courthouse and a bunch of cows in between.''


The Marlins, who have been rained out three of the past four days, got a scare earlier in the day when pitcher Tom Koehler was hit just below his right elbow by a comebacker while pitching in a minor league game. The injury is not believed to be serious and he is listed as day to day.


The Nationals sent seven players to the minor leagues, with shortstop Trea Turner being optioned to Triple-A Syracuse.

Baker said the team would like to keep nonroster invitee RHP Matt Belisle, but that details on a contract had to be worked out with his agent.


Marlins: Miami will visit the Mets on Tuesday. Paul Clemens is the scheduled starter, but due to the rainout, the team might decide to alter its rotation.

Nationals: Strasburg will make his final spring training start as the Nationals visit Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals.