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Nats' Nyjer Morgan stirs it up again, claims Ricky Nolasco went after him in Sunday's game

FORT MYERS -- Nyjer Morgan apparently isn't ready to let last year's run-in with the Marlins fade into the past.

Nyjer Morgan The Nationals' center fielder told MLB.com after Sunday's game that he felt Ricky Nolasco purposely hit him with an 0-2 pitch during the Nationals' 5-1 victory over the Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter.

"No question, without a doubt," Morgan said. "It's obvious because of what happened last year. Obviously, they haven't turned the page. But I'm going to be a stronger player, better person. I'm not going to react to it. I felt better by going out there and being able to steal that bag, getting myself over to third and generating a run.

"I felt more satisfied after that than staring at him and putting on my mean mug. Basically, what am I going to get out of it [by fighting]? I'm just going to hurt my team and somebody could get hurt. It's Spring Training, anyway.

"It's a plus on our side because they know we are not going to react to their negativity. It's part of the game. I know I got tested for a reason. It will probably be the last test I will get. I felt a lot better by just walking down to first, stealing second and generating a nice rally in the first inning."

For what it is worth, Nolasco denied trying to hit Morgan on purpose. Nolasco was pitching his first Spring Training game after missing time with a thumb injury. He also hit Danny Espinosa in the head in the same inning.

"Obviously, no matter who is up there, I'm not trying to do that," Nolasco said. "It's my first outing coming off an injury. I just tried to bounce back from that. But obviously the rust showed and I'll keep working and go get them next time. "

On Sept. 1 of last season, Morgan charged the mound and threw a punch at Chris Volstad, who had thrown a pitch behind him. First baseman Gaby Sanchez intervened and clotheslined Morgan, setting off a brawl.

The Marlins had a problem with Morgan from the previous day, when he barreled into catcher Brett Hayes, who suffered a separated shoulder on the play. He then amped it up the next day by stealing two bases in a blowout. 

We'll have to see if this carries over into the season. But I'm about 99.9 percent sure Nolasco simply let a pitch get away from him.