LAKELAND, Fla. -- Michael Taylor, Raudy Read and Drew Ward all homered deep to left on a hot Wednesday afternoon, supporting Joe Ross' two scoreless innings in his first outing this spring for a 9-1 Nationals win over the Tigers.Washington sent a relatively young lineup up the Florida Turnpike from
LAKELAND, Fla. -- Michael Taylor, Raudy Read and Drew Ward all homered deep to left on a hot Wednesday afternoon, supporting Joe Ross' two scoreless innings in his first outing this spring for a 9-1 Nationals win over the Tigers.
Washington sent a relatively young lineup up the Florida Turnpike from West Palm Beach and put up tape-measure shots off Tigers pitching. Taylor and Read hit solo homers that cleared the reconfigured left-field berm at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium -- Taylor's second home run of the spring, Read's first. Ward followed Read with a line drive off the face of the berm, stretching the lead to nine runs.
Taylor opened the scoring in the second with a two-run single off Tigers starter Mike Pelfrey, who paid for loading the bases after retiring the first two batters in both of his innings. The veteran right-hander, trying to win back his rotation spot, threw 51 pitches, 26 for strikes, over 1 2/3 innings.
"Obviously, when you're out there, you're working on things, but you obviously want to get people out and you want to be successful," Pelfrey said. "But I don't think I allowed myself [to do that] with not throwing for strikes. I wasted 25 pitches."
Ross retired six of his seven batters against a veteran Tigers lineup, yielding only an opposite-field single to Nicholas Castellanos. Taylor Hill gave up an Anthony Gose double leading off the third but stranded him there. Brett Pill finally put the Tigers on the scoreboard when he doubled home Miguel Gonzalez in the eighth.
Nationals up next: The Nationals will be the visitors against the Houston Astros at 1:05 p.m. ET on Thursday at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, sending right-hander Kyle McGowin to the hill against righty Brad Peacock. The game can be seen on MLB.TV. McGowin, who was acquired from the Los Angeles Angels on Dec. 10, 2016, in the Danny Espinosa trade, threw one scoreless inning Tuesday against the Astros in his first outing this spring.
Tigers up next:Justin Verlander will make his second start of the spring Thursday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. ET when the Tigers host the Pirates at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Fla. The game can be heard on Gameday Audio. Verlander gave up one hit over two innings in his first start on Saturday against the Astros. Most of the Tigers' regulars are scheduled to play, including Jose Cabrera, Ian Kinsler, Victor Martinez, J.D. Martinez and Justin Upton.
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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast.