In the final game down in Viera, Florida for 2015 Spring Training, the Washington Nationals lost to the New York Mets by a final score of 2-0. While Gio Gonzalez pitched a solid game over 5.2 innings, the main story of this game was the player who was playing third base. With Anthony Rendon still out, Yunel Escobar manned the hot corner for the first time since the 2007 season. Here is the latest on what happened earlier today:
William Ladson of MLB.com reported this morning that Dr. James Andrews told the Nats third baseman that he has a sprained left MCL. He went to go seek a third opinion from Dr. Steve Singleton in Vail, Colorado, according to James Wagner of the Washington Post:
In todayÃ¢Â€Â™s lineup made by Matt Williams, Escobar played third base while Danny Espinosa played second base. Even with those lineup changes, the Nationals struggled to get any offense going against Jon Niese. The Mets left-hander threw six innings, gave up no runs on four hits, and struck out three.
The Mets got the first run of the game in the top of the fifth inning after Gio Gonzalez held New York to three hits in the first four innings. With Danny Muno on second and two outs, Ruben Tejada hit a single to right field that scored Muno to make it 1-0.
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In the top of the sixth, John Mayberry Jr. continued his dominance of the Nationals this spring with a leadoff homer to left field to make it 2-0. It was Mayberry’™s fourth home run of the spring, with three of those coming against Washington.
Gonzalez would leave the game in the top of the sixth with two on and two outs. He went 5.2 innings, gave up two runs on seven hits, struck out six, and walked one on 81 pitches. Matt Thornton would enter the game and get out of the jam by striking out Kirk Nieuwenhuis.
After the Nationals and Mets made the trade yesterday involving Jerry Blevins and Matt den Dekker, both of them saw playing time against their former team today. Blevins entered the game in the bottom of the seventh for Niese and struck out the only batter he faced, Bryce Harper. As for den Dekker, he hit a two-out single to left in his only at-bat in the bottom of the eighth.
Even though the Nats managed only six hits, Tyler Moore still had a productive day at the plate. The left fielder went 2-for-3 to increase his spring batting average to .340. As for the bullpen, the combination of Thornton, Aaron Barrett, Felipe Rivero, and Rich Hill threw 3.1 innings of one-hit ball and struck out four batters.
The Nationals will be back in action on Wednesday afternoon at 1:05 PM ET down in Jupiter against the Miami Marlins. Jordan Zimmermann will make his final start of the spring for Washington against Miami’s Jarred Cosart.