The Miami Marlins took their first loss of the 2014 Grapefruit League season on Sunday with a 10-3 final in Viera against the Washington Nationals.
After winning their first five games of the exhibition season including two against college opponents, the Nationals proved to be too much for a parade of minor league arms on the Miami side according to the official box score. Washington scored in all but three innings and did a lot of their scoring against Edgar Olmos who struggled mightily with his command. In all Olmos who spent part of 2013 in the big leagues, allowed four runs on three walks and only recorded one out. Already on the outside looking in for a job on the initial roster, this outing could come back to haunt the young lefty. Still, Olmos will likely be given more chances to try to outduel Dan Jennings as a secondary lefty reliever in the pen.
There was also an interesting battle to watch in this game between two starting rotation hopefuls. Brad Hand made the start and went two innings in which he allowed a run on two hits while striking out a pair per the box score. Brian Flynn followed with two innings of his own allowing two runs on two hits. Neither pitcher was particularly dominant in their first appearance of the spring but that is not surprising. The fifth spot in the rotation will likely come down to Hand, Flynn and Tom Koehler and the fight for it could last until the end of March.
Offensively, it was a relatively quiet day for the Marlins in terms of having runs cross the plate but they did compile ten hits. Ed Lucas also blasted his first home run of the year in the third inning off of Chris Young. Lucas is trying to win a utility role on the team after having a successful run with the Marlins in 2013. Most of the regular lineup didn't make the trip in this one with Jarrod Saltalamacchia being potentially the lone Opening Day starter in the game. Saltalamacchia was 0-2 and is off to a .143 start batting average wise in the spring. >
The Marlins will take on the Houston Astros on Monday in Jupiter with Jacob Turner scheduled to get the ball.