Nationals, Astros end in tie after back-and-forth game


After losing to the Mets in a 11-9 slugfest Thursday afternoon, the Nationals failed to secure a two-run lead late in the ballgame Friday and tied the Astros, 6-6.

Doug Fister made his second start of the spring for the Nationals and the right-hander didn’t disappoint in his first “Fister Friday” of 2015. Fister allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits while walking one batter and striking out two.

It was another good start for the right-hander, who is looking forward to starting the season with the Nationals after a back injury forced him to miss the first month of the season in 2014. Fister has allowed one earned run on five hits over 4 1/3 innings of work this spring.

"“Heading in the right direction,” Fister told’s Bill Ladson. “Still a lot of fine-tuning that needs to be done, but it’s nothing that I’m panicking over. I feel like I’m in a decent place right now, in the place we are in Spring Training. Still got a lot of time left.”"

The Nationals fell behind early after errors by Ian Desmond and Kevin Frandsen allowed the Astros’ first run to score in the top of the second inning. The Astros made it a 2-0 game an inning later on a leadoff home run to right field off the bat of George Springer.

Houston’s lead was short-lived, though, as the Nationals came back to take the lead in the bottom of the third inning. With runners on first and second and two outs, Bryce Harper took the first pitch he saw from Astros’ pitcher scott Feldman and hit it into right field for a two-run double. Ryan Zimmerman followed up with an RBI single, giving the Nationals a 3-2 lead.

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Unfortunately, the Astros’ offense wasn’t going down quietly. Houston tied the game in the fourth inning on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Jake Marisnick. The Astros then retook the lead in the fifth inning on another solo shot by Springer.

Not surprisingly, the Nationals’ offense got right back to business in the sixth inning. Washington tied the game on an RBI single by Kila Ka’aihue. The Nationals took a 5-4 lead later in the inning on a fielder’s choice that scored Cutter Dykstra from third. Washington would make it a 6-4 game an inning later on a solo shot off the bat of Ian Stewart.

But the Astros were’t backing down, and the Nationals’ bullpen was not able to close out the game. Houston tied the game in the top of the ninth, when Nationals reliever Scott McGregor allowed an RBI single to Jonathan Vellar and an RBI groundout to John Singleton. The Nationals’ offense came up empty in the bottom of the frame, and the game ended in a draw. Gotta love Spring Training, right?

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