Wednesday, March 20, 2013 7:38 pm
Harper has 4 RBIs, Nationals beat Marlins 7-5
The Associated Press
Harper doubled, singled and drove in four runs Wednesday, then exited in a private car during the Washington Nationals' 7-5 win over the Miami Marlins 7-5.
Harper had a two-run double in the third and a two-run single in the fifth. The outfielder raised his spring batting average to .400 (20-for-50) with 12 RBIs.
Harper joined teammate Jayson Werth in leaving the Marlins' spring training facility during the seventh inning for the two-hour drive back to the Nationals' camp.
"I don't need to see a whole lot of him, he's had a great spring," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. "He expects a lot out of himself, and that's good. He's shown what kind of player he is. He did that at the end of last year. He's not a secret to anybody."
Nationals starter Chris Young allowed two hits in five innings. He walked one and struck out two.
Young, at camp on a minor league contract, is trying to restart his career. He said he chose to join the defending NL East champs despite the Nationals' rotation being virtually set and the staff 12-14 pitchers deep.
"The opportunity to be around this group of guys, being in this environment was worth it to me," Young said. "There's still work to be done and progress to be made but (Wednesday's start was) an improvement, and that's the way the spring is supposed to go. You're supposed to get a little better each time."
The 6-foot-10 right-hander added he will discuss career options with his agent as the regular season nears.
"I do feel like I'm a big league pitcher," Young said. "To turn down a big league opportunity to go to Triple-A, I think is probably not in my best interest. If I'm weighing Triple-A options, (Washington) would be at the top of my list."
Wade LeBlanc gave up six runs and seven hits in five innings. He is among those vying for the Marlins' No. 5 starter's spot.
LeBlanc saw a lineup that included veterans Harper, Werth, Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche.
"That's what I'm going to face during the season so I'm glad Washington brought those guys over," LeBlanc said. "I could see what I need to work on, and see what works and then try to improve on the rest of the stuff."
Washington's Kurt Suzuki had two hits, including a solo homer off Tom Koehler in the ninth. Werth had two hits and a sacrifice fly.
Giancarlo Stanton's RBI double and Rob Brantly's two-run double highlighted Miami's four-run sixth off Zach Duke.
NOTES: The Nationals acquired LHP Ian Krol from Oakland, completing a three-trade in January that sent OF Michael Morse to Seattle. The 21-year-old Krol was a combined 2-9 with a 5.20 ERA as a starter and reliever between Double-A and Single-A last year. He was Oakland's minor league pitcher of the year in 2010. ... Johnson said RHP Rafael Soriano has been bothered by a wisdom tooth, which could require surgery in the near future. He is scheduled to pitch next on Friday. ... Marlins 2B Donovan Solano (stiff back) was a late scratch. He will be evaluated Friday following Thursday's off-day.