VIERA, Fla. -- For Ryan Zimmerman, the first homer was a gift. The second one was a more positive sign.
Zimmerman and Josh Willingham each hit two homers off Mets starter Mike Pelfrey, leading the Washington Nationals to a 7-5 victory over New York on Monday.Zimmerman's first drive, a towering shot in the first inning, just carried over the glove of Mets left fielder Frank Catalanotto."That's an out during the regular season," Zimmerman said. "On a windy day like today, you can't look too much into that stuff. The second one was hit better, but the first one was not."Zimmerman also had a two-run shot in the fifth. Willingham had a solo drive in the second and a two-run homer in the fourth, both lofty shots just clearing the fence.Jason Marquis pitched 4 2/3 innings for the Nationals, yielding three runs and seven hits."It's a step in the right direction," Marquis said. "I got some quick outs. My breaking ball wasn't as sharp as I wanted it, but I'm still trying to get comfortable with my delivery. I'll keep working. I'm building my pitch count up to allow myself to go deeper into games."Craig Stammen allowed two unearned runs and two hits in four innings for Washington."He's been good throughout. He's really been making a case for himself being in the rotation," manager Jim Riggleman said. "He's not taking anything for granted. He's competing and pitching very well in circumstances where we didn't really play very well behind him. The winds blowing out like it was, but he was able to hold things down there for us."Pelfrey was charged with six runs, five earned, and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings. Chris Carter had three hits for the Mets, and Henry Blanco doubled twice.
Before the game, the Nationals optioned RHP Shairon Martis to Triple-A Syracuse and reassigned INF Pete Orr and OF Chris Duncan to minor league camp. That leaves 36 players in Washington's major league camp.