Hours before the Washington Nationals were set to take on the New York Yankees at Space Coast Stadium in Viera, Fla., it looked unlikely that the teams would be able to fit a game in with rain looming in the forecast. Fortunately, the rain stayed away and the Nationals defeated the Yankees, 7-6.
Doug Fister got things started for the Nationals and he pitched OK in his fourth start of the spring. The right-hander allowed four runs on seven hits while striking out four in 4 1/3 innings of work.
The Yankees got their first run against Fister in the top of the third inning, when Rob Refsnyder scored on an RBI groundout by Brett Gardner. The Yankees made it a 3-0 game later in the inning on a two-run home run off the bat of Brian McCann.
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Despite being in an early hole, the Nationals’ offense quickly came back to take the lead. The Nationals scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, and it all started with some good hitting by Fister––who was determined to make up for the runs he gave up an inning later.
Fister got the Nationals on the board with a two-run single in the fourth, trimming the Yankees’ lead to 3-2. The Nationals took a 4-3 lead later in the inning on a two-run double off the bat of Ian Desmond.
But the Yankees’ offense wasn’t finished, and Fister gave up a game-tying home run to Chris Young in the top of the fifth inning. Young hurt the Nationals again an inning later, this time hitting a two-run homer off of Nationals’ reliever Casey Janssen that gave the Yankees a 6-4 lead. Fortunately for the Nationals, that was all the offense the Yankees would get and Washington’s lineup came through in the late innings.
Trailing by two runs in the bottom of the seventh, the Nationals trimmed New York’s lead in half when Stephen Perez scored on an error. The Nationals took the lead later in the inning on a two-run double by Jose Lobaton.
– There’s finally good news to talk about on the injury from for the Nationals as second baseman Yunel Escobar made his Spring Training debut this afternoon. He went 1 for 2 with the bat and played three innings at second base. Escobar had been out all spring with an oblique injury.