Nationals Recap: Offense Struggles On Split Squad Saturday

2 of 2

Mar 6, 2015; Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA; Washington Nationals infielder

Ian Stewart

(10) hits a grounder to first during the second inning of a spring training baseball game at Champion Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Unlike the game in Viera, Washington did not send many of its starters to play against the Mets. The lineup featured players such as Dan Uggla, Ian Stewart, and Emmanuel Burriss just to name a few.

Tanner Roark got the start in this one and was perfect thru the first two innings, which included a strikeout by Curtis Granderson. However, New York was able to get to Roark in the bottom of the third inning. With runners on first and third and no one out, Ruben Tejada hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Juan Lagares for the game’s first run.

After a walk by Granderson, David Wright would hit his first home run of the spring, a three-run shot to center to extend the Mets lead to 4-0. Roark would not finish the inning as he gave up four runs on four hits in 2.2 innings, struck out one and walked one.

Thru the first six innings, the team managed only two hits against Tyler Pill, Jeurys Familia, Jenrry Mejia, Akeel Morris, and Scott Rice. Those hits were a Clint Robinson double in the second inning and a single by Tony Gwynn Jr. in the sixth. Gwynn Jr. would have two hits in the contest when he singled to lead off the eighth.

After Matt Grace threw 1.1 scoreless innings of relief, Taylor Hill would take the ball and give up another run. This one came off the bat of Michael Cuddyer when he hit a solo shot to left center field to make it 5-0. Later in the inning, Tejada would add on his second RBI of the day with an infield single that scored Lagares and made it 6-0.

In the top of the seventh inning, Washington would find its way on the scoreboard against Mets pitcher Dillon Gee, who is turning into a reliever to start the season. The inning would start with a single by Uggla and a ground-rule double by Ian Stewart. Two batters later, Sandy Leon would hit a single to center that drove in Uggla and Stewart to cut the deficit to 6-2.

New York would add those two runs back in the bottom of inning as Rich Hill gave up a two-run home run to John Mayberry Jr. to make it 8-2 Mets. It was Mayberry’s second home run of the spring. If you recall, the former Phillie hit his first homer this spring against Max Scherzer. Mayberry would add an infield single in the bottom of the eighth that ended up scoring Kevin Plawecki due to an error by second baseman Jason Martinson.

Back on Thursday in New York’s 11-9 win, Mitch Lively gave up four earned runs in the nine run eighth inning the Mets had. On Saturday, Lively had to feel déjà vu in that same inning. New York started the inning with three straight singles to load the bases. After Dilson Herrera drew a walk to make it 9-2, Kevin Plawecki cleared the bases with a double to center field as the Mets took a 12-2 lead. The 13th run came courtesy of Martinson’s error. Lively would not finish the inning as Evan Meek would replace him with one out.

Even in a loss, Washington did have one ball leave the yard. That came in the top of the ninth when Stewart hit a two-run homer to right off of Erik Goeddel. His first of the spring would be the final scoring play of the ballgame.

The Nationals are back in action Sunday afternoon at 1:05 PM ET as they play their first of two straight games against the Houston Astros. Max Scherzer will make his third start of the spring against Houston’s Asher Wojciechowski at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee.

More from District on Deck