- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 4, 2010

JUPITER, Fla. | Anibal Sanchez says it’s been five years since he felt this healthy in spring training, which is why he was grinning after his first spring training start Thursday.

Sanchez struck out three in two innings to help the Florida Marlins beat the Washington Nationals’ split squad 10-4.

The right-hander has been plagued by injuries and spent two stints on the disabled list last year. But he finished the season strong and is among six pitchers bidding for three openings in the rotation.

“When I’m healthy, I can do a lot,” said Sanchez, who threw a no-hitter as a rookie in 2006. “I want to pitch the whole season.”

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Sanchez gave up two hits, one walk, two stolen bases and one run in two innings. He threw 41 pitches, 23 for strikes.

More important, he said his often-troublesome shoulder is strong again.

“I’m glad he said he feels that way,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “He can be a big piece for us.”

Rick VandenHurk, another contender for a starting job, allowed one hit and one walk in two scoreless innings. He struck out two and threw 35 pitches.

On a cool, blustery day — 61 degrees with a 15-mph wind — Nationals starter J.D. Martin pitched two perfect innings with one strikeout. He needed only 19 pitches and threw 14 strikes.

Ian Desmond went 2 for 3 for Washington with a double, an RBI, a run scored and a stolen base. Kevin Mench homered in the ninth.

Rookie Logan Morrison, contending for Florida’s first-base job, tripled and drove in three runs. Mike Lamb, battling for a job as a reserve infielder, put the Marlins ahead to stay with a pinch-hit RBI single in the fifth off Brian Bruney (0-1).

Bryan Petersen, a long shot to make the Marlins’ roster, started and homered off Collin Balester. Petersen also had an RBI groundout and a single. Reserve Donnie Murphy went 2 for 2 with four RBIs.

Seth McClung (1-0) pitched one perfect inning.

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