Carrolling In Viera

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It was a moment out of a Little League game. Brett Carroll came up with the bases loaded and the Nationals having already scored twice to take a 2-1 in the sixth inning of Thursday’s home game against the Braves. After walking in his first two plate appearances, the outfielder was looking for a pitch to drive, just to get something deep enough to score the run. Instead, his shot to the opposite field gap carried past the outfielders, bouncing off the wall and caroming back towards the infield.

As the runners began circling the bases, Carroll went from thinking he had a sacrifice fly to thinking he had a double, to suddenly realizing he had a shot at a three-base hit. As he slid into third ahead of the relay throw, the ball short-hopped Braves third baseman Martin Prado and skipped away. With 270 feet of base path already behind him, Carroll sprung to his feet and raced home. The throw home arrived at the same time, but Carroll’s nifty hook slide to the inside of the plate allowed him to avoid the tag as he scored, capping the six-run outburst.

Brett Carroll shows his not-so-serious side before a recent Spring Training game in Sarasota.

“The guys in the dugout were laughing,” said Carroll. “I just kept running until I…well I didn’t stop.”

While Davey Johnson has been vocal about his admiration for Carroll’s talent and versatility throughout camp, the outfielder is not taking anything for granted in terms of making the big league club.

“Not one bit,” he attempted to say with a straight face, but broke into laughter. “I’m comfortable because it is what it is. I’ve been down this road before…Until I’m on that plane going north (to Washington), I’ll just continue to take it one day at a time.”

Later Thursday, the other half of the Nationals split-squad traveled to play Detroit in Lakeland. After falling behind 3-0 early, Washington roared back on the strength of late, run-scoring hits by Xavier Paul and Steve Lombardozzi, who had three more knocks. Lombardozzi is now batting .328 for the spring, as also he looks to add his name to the list of 25 heading north to D.C. next Monday night.

Speaking of that plane going north, Curly W Live will be there with the team, providing an inside look as the Nationals return to D.C. for the highly-anticipated beginning of the season.

Davey Johnson discusses the finer points of hitting with Brett Carroll during batting practice.

The Nationals take on the Marlins at Space Coast Stadium this evening at 6:05pm. After winning four of their last five, here are the team’s spring results to date:

vs. Georgetown (exhibition) – W, 3-0

@ Houston – L, 3-1

vs. Houston – L, 10-2

@ New York (NL) – W, 3-1

@ Atlanta – W, 5-2

vs. St. Louis – T, 3-3

vs. Houston – W, 8-0

@ Miami – L, 3-0

vs. New York (NL) – W, 8-2

@ Detroit – T, 5-5

@ St. Louis – Canceled (rain)

vs. St. Louis – W, 8-4

vs. Detroit – L, 6-3

@ Atlanta – L, 6-5

vs. New York (AL) – L, 8-5

@ New York (AL) – L, 4-3 (10)

vs. Miami – T, 1-1

vs. Detroit – L, 11-7

@ New York (NL) – L, 2-0

vs. Atlanta – L, 3-2 (10)

@ St. Louis – L, 9-0

@ Houston – L, 5-1

@ Baltimore – L, 12-3

vs. New York (NL) – W, 12-0

vs. Houston – W, 7-4

@ Miami – L, 3-1

@ New York (NL) – W, 3-2

vs. Atlanta – W, 6-3

@ Detroit – W, 5-3

vs. Miami – Friday, 6:05pm

Overall Record: 10-14-3

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