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Zimmermann impressive but Nationals rally to top Tigers

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VIERA, Fla. (AP) Jordan Zimmermann retired eight of his first nine batters in his Detroit debut against his former team, and the Tigers went on to an 8-4 loss to the Washington Nationals on Saturday.

Zimmermann yielded a two-out hit to Pedro Severino in the third inning before being replaced by Bruce Rondon, who gave up a two-run homer to Ben Revere.

Zimmermann made his major league debut with Washington in 2009 and played for the Nationals for seven seasons before signing a $110 million, five-year contract with Detroit over the winter.

Washington starter Stephen Strasburg struck out five but gave up the first of Bryan Holaday‘s two two-run homers in the second inning. Holaday also connected against A.J. Cole and is 6 for 8 with three homers and eight RBIs this spring.

Matt Skole also hit a two-run homer for Washington. Scott Sizemore had a solo shot.

Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name

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The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly and Zach Buchanan report that Diamondbacks starter Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name as recently as December. The fake name is Mason Saunders. Bumgarner explains that “Mason” is shortened from “Madison,” while “Saunders” is his wife’s maiden name.

Bumgarner — err, Saunders — and one of his rodeo partners, Jaxson Tucker, won $26,560 in a team-roping rodeo competition in December. The Rancho Rio Arena posted a picture of the pair on Facebook, highlighting that they roped four steers in 31.36 seconds.

As Baggarly and Buchanan point out, Bumgarner also pointed out in a rodeo competition last March, just a couple days before pitching in a Cactus League game versus the Athletics, back when he was still with the Giants.

Bumgarner suffered bruised ribs and a left shoulder AC sprain in 2017 when he got into a dirt bike accident. Given that, Bumgarner’s latest extracurricular activity does raise a concern for the Diamondbacks, who inked him to a five-year, $85 million contract two months ago. Baggarly and Buchanan asked Bumgarner about such a concern. Bumgarner referred them to the club’s managing partner Ken Kendrick. Kendrick directed them to GM Mike Hazen. Hazen declined speaking about “specific contract language.” For what it’s worth, Bumgarner says he primarily uses his right hand to rope.

The jig is up on Bumgarner’s hobby. He jokingly said to The Athletic’s pair, “I’m nervous about this interview right now.” He added, “I’m upset with both you two.”