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Walters connects on first homer of the spring

TAMPA, Fla. -- Kelly Johnson and Corban Joseph had run-scoring hits as part of a big second inning, giving the Yankees an early jump in a 4-2 Grapefruit League victory over the Nationals on Monday at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

New York pounced on Washington starter Ross Detwiler for four runs (three earned) and five hits in the second, which also saw two runs score on a throwing error by shortstop Zach Walters. Detwiler completed 1 1/3 innings.

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"It's been a while. I got a little excited out there," Detwiler said. "I was a little amped out there."

Ivan Nova turned in a strong start for the Yankees, firing three scoreless, hitless innings. His control was superb in his second outing of the spring, as he threw 31 of 35 pitches for strikes, recording four strikeouts.

"I was trying to attack the strike zone, trying not to walk anybody," Nova said. "You try to eliminate that here, not to carry that over, and then try to make adjustments. You try to be on a good roll for the start of the year."

New closer David Robertson made his spring debut and, after hitting a batter, induced a double play and a flyout. Walters put the Nats on the board in the fifth, connecting for a solo homer to center field off Shawn Kelley. The homer was Walters' first of the spring.

Washington added a run in the sixth when Derek Jeter committed an error on Danny Espinosa's grounder up the middle, allowing Eury Perez to score.

The Yankees welcomed Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath into the dugout as a co-manager for the day. Namath, in town for a promotional appearance, threw a ceremonial first pitch to Jeter before spending most of the game by Joe Girardi's side.

Up next: Right-hander Stephen Strasburg will make his first start of the spring on Tuesday, against the Braves at 1:05 p.m. ET. Strasburg has developed a new pitch -- a slider -- and it will be interesting to see if he uses it against Atlanta in what is expected to be a two-inning outing. A.J. Cole and Taylor Jordan, competing for the fifth spot in the rotation, are also expected to pitch.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.

Washington Nationals