KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Don't call this just another spring training start for Washington's Ross Detwiler.
He's getting ready for the World Baseball Classic.
Detwiler worked into the third inning in his first spring appearance for the Nationals, tuning up against most of the Atlanta starters, before a five-run fifth carried the Braves to a 9-5 victory Tuesday.
"It always feels a little weird to be out there for the first time without a screen in front of you," the left-hander said. "I wanted to throw a lot of first-pitch strikes."
Detwiler breezed through the first two innings, limiting the Braves to a single and pitching around an error by first baseman Tyler Moore. But he couldn't get through the third, giving up run-scoring singles to brothers Justin and B.J. Upton to tie the game at 2.
Still, Detwiler was encouraged by his performance, especially since the Braves sent out a lineup with six expected starters for a game that was delayed an hour at the start by rain.
"I was facing a lot of their big guys," he said after giving up five hits and striking out two in 2 2-3 innings. "I'm pretty happy I got to face those guys this early."
The Braves batted around in the fifth, erasing a 3-2 deficit against loser Ryan Perry.
Jordan Parraz led off with his first homer of the spring, Evan Gattis doubled to left-center and Freddie Freeman drove in the go-ahead run with a single up the middle. Juan Francisco also singled in a run before the Nationals finally made a pitching change with the bases loaded and still only one out. Brandon Mann walked Ramiro Pena with the bases loaded, and Joey Terdoslavich closed the big inning with a sacrifice fly.