December 15, 2017

Washington Nationals Spring Training: Nats tie Astros

The Washington Nationals got some production out of the middle of their opening day batting order but the Houston Astros put together a late rally to force a 6-6 at Space Coast Stadium in Viera, Florida. The teams declined to play extra innings.

The Nats put together a three-run third inning behind RBIs by Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman, all with two outs. Tony Gwynn Jr got the rally started with a single to right. Ian Desmond followed with a walk from Scott Feldman. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 70 Review: With Gio’s Return, Nats Complete Two-Game Sweep of Astros

A two-game sweep is still a sweep, and a win is a win – even if it comes against the Houston Astros.

And, Wednesday night, the Washington Nationals rallied back to top the 32-41 squad by the score of 6-5 on a sweltering night at Nationals Park. The win marked the Nats’ 12th in their last 13 games against the Astros, and propelled Washington to a 1 ½ game lead in the NL East.

In Gio Gonzalez’s first start since May 17, he ran into his fair share of trouble spots, but held the Astros at bay long enough to keep the Nats alive. In five innings pitched, he allowed four runs on five hits and three walks, and hit a batter.

More importantly, he looked solid in the early innings and reported no soreness in his shoulder.

The Nats slowly rounded up a run here and there to start against Scott Feldman.

In the first, Denard Span walked and, with the help of a challenge call that overturned a ruling on the field, Span successfully stole second. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 69 Review: Rendon, Zimmerman Combine for Five RBIs in Nats’ Win over Astros

The Washington Nationals’ longtime success against the Houston Astros carried on with a 6-5 Tuesday night to kick off a six-game home stand.

Ryan Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon batted in five of the runs, with two doubles apiece, as Tanner Roark earned his sixth win of the season.

Houston starter Dallas Keuchel, in turned, allowed four earned runs on six hits and four walks over five innings pitched.

Needless to say, the Nats took an early lead.

Denard Span singled to lead things off for the District, before Rendon doubled him in on a line drive to center. Jayson Werth grounded back to the mound for the first out of the half-inning, but Adam LaRoche drew a walk in the next at-bat. After that, Zimmerman hit his first double of the night to bring home Rendon and make it 2-0 Nationals.

Keuchel went on to retire the side in the second, but his recovery stopped there.

In the third, Werth drew a one-out walk before LaRoche struck out swinging. Before Keuchel could close the book on the inning, however, he allowed a second RBI double to Zimmerman, which made it 3-0 Washington. To add some insurance, Ian Desmond singled, allowing Zimmerman to come home as Houston left-fielder Robbie Grossman dug out the ball.

In the fourth, the Astros seemed to learn that the key to making progress against Roark could be found in a small-ball strategy. [Read more…]

Nats Nightly: Nationals 6-5 over Astros in Nats Park to end 4-game losing streak

Dave Nichols of District Sports Page and Patrick Reddington and “Doghouse” of Federal Baseball discuss the Washington Nationals 6-5 win over the Houston Astros.

More Baseball Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with District Sports Page Nats Nightly on BlogTalkRadio

Washington Nationals vs Houston Astros Series Preview

After being swept out of St. Louis, the Washington Nationals now return home for a six-game homestand that opens with a two-game set against the Houston Astros. [Read more…]

Rendon’s Big Night Leads Nationals Past Astros

In front of his closest friends and family, Texas-native Anthony Rendon put together his second four-hit game in less than a week and came within a triple of hitting for the cycle in the Washington Nationals’ 7-0 win over the Houston Astros Wednesday night.

Rendon got things started early with a double in the first inning. In the top of the third, he registered his second hit on a single. An inning later, Rendon was able to do some real damage as he plated two runs with double to deep right. Two of his three hits thus far had been opposite field shots.

While two doubles, a single and two RBI would be enough to satisfy any major leaguer, Rendon wasn’t quite done. In the bottom of the sixth, he stepped to the plate and lined one over the left-field wall for his fourth home run of the season.

Rendon’s All-Star caliber night wasn’t limited to his performance at the plate. In the field, he was just as solid. In the bottom of the sixth inning, he robbed Astros first baseman Jesus Guzman of a hit when he made a diving play at third, and then threw over to first to record the out. In the bottom of the eighth, he showed great patience on a hard-hit ground ball to third. It was fielded cleanly and thrown on a line to first for the out.

One thing that made Rendon’s performance so remarkable was his placement at the plate. Of his four hits, just one of them was pulled. His first double, single and homer were all hit to the opposite field. He looked very comfortable in the batters box and is becoming something opposing pitchers should be worried about.

Wednesday’s performance is just the latest edition of Rendon’s highly successful 2014 campaign. On the year, the 23-year old is batting .316 with 4 HR and 20 RBI. He’s tied for second in the National League with 10 doubles and is tied for fifth in the NL with 20 RBI.

Rendon is on a tear for the Nationals through the first month of baseball. While he played well as a rookie in 2013, nobody expected this start. At the rate things are going, it’s not a stretch to say he could be representing the Nationals at the 2014 MLB All-Star Game.

Nats Nightly for April 30: Zimmermann, Rendon lead Nats over Astros

Dave Nichols of District Sports Page and Patrick Reddington of Federal Baseball discuss the Washington Nationals 7-0 win over the Houston Astros.

Online Baseball Radio at Blog Talk Radio with District Sports Page Nats Nightly on BlogTalkRadio

Washington Nationals Game 28 Review: Zimmermann, Rendon lead Nats to sweep in Houston

The Houston Astros came up on the Washington Nationals schedule right at the exact time.

Reeling from Bryce Harper’s thumb injury and resulting surgery, the Nats went down to Houston needing a couple of wins in the worst way. Tuesday, they took care of business with a 4-3 win. On Wednesday, they made a laugher out of it, knocking off the Astros for the second consecutive evening, 7-0, behind the right arm of Jordan Zimmermann and the hot hitting of hometown boy Anthony Rendon.

Zimmermann became the Nationals all-time wins leader since the relocation with 45.

Zimmermann gave the Nats 6 1/3 scoreless innings, while Rendon had four hits — including a homer and two doubles — to lead the Nats to a two-game sweep.

It was all Nats, and it started early. Denard Span led off the third inning for the Nats with a triple to right field. George Springer couldn’t field it cleanly, and Span trotted home with the game’s first run.

The Nats busted things open in the fourth. Kevin Frandsen singled up the middle and went to third on Sandy Leon’s single to center. The Astros tried to throw behind Leon at first, but first baseman Jesus Guzman couldn’t handle the throw and Frandsen walked the run in. Denard Span followed with a single and Leon went to third.

Anthony Rendon laced a double into the left field corner, scoring Leon, and when left fielder Alex Presley fumbled the bare-handed pick-up, Span raced home from first. Rendon then scored on Jayson Werth’s broken bat single up the middle to make it 5-0.

The Nats tacked on another one in the fifth, chasing Astros starter Brett Oberholtzer. With two outs, Danny Espinosa crushed a belt-high fastball deep into the Crawford boxes in straightaway left field.

Rendon made it 7-0 with a line drive homer to right field in the sixth off Paul Clemens. It was Rendon’s third extra base hit of the night, his fourth homer and 20th RBI of the season.

Meanwhile, Jordan Zimmermann cruised. Through 6 1/3 innings, the stoic right-hander allowed just seven hits and one walk, striking out seven, including Astros catcher Jason Castro three times. Just thrice did Houston put more than one runner on in an inning, including the seventh when he was lifted in favor of rookie Aaron Barrett.

Barrett came on to strike out Jose Altuve on a nasty slider and get L.J. Hoes to bounce out to end the threat.

Ross Detwiler gave up two hits in a scoreless frame and Ryan Mattheus hit a batter before closing things out with a double play.

The Nats travel to Philly for a weekend set with the Phillies starting Friday night. Stephen Strasburg will face LHP Cliff Lee (3-2, 3.29).

Washington Nationals Spring Training: Nats drop a pair in split-squad games with Braves and Astros

The Washington Nationals had a split-squad day on Wednesday, with half the team travelling to Lake Buena Vista to face the Braves and the rest in Kissimmee taking on the Astros. Unfortunately, the results were similar, as both home teams scored in the bottom of the ninth to defeat the Nats.

The group in Disney fell to Atlanta 3-2. Veteran starter Chris Young, trying to resurrect his career, allowed tow earned runs on three hits and a walk, striking out three. He gave up a two-out, two-run homer to Freddie Freeman in the first inning.

The Braves got the winning run in the ninth inning off minor league closer Robert Benincasa. Joe Leonard singles to start the inning, then pinch-runner Jose Peraza stole second and scored on a single by Elmer Reyes.

Denard Span went 2-for-3 with a triple, raising his spring average to .429.

In Kissimmee, the Astros got to lefty Xavier Cedeno for three runs on four hits in the ninth to send the Nats to a 10-9 loss. Cedeno struck out leadoff hitter Gregorio Petit and Jesus Guzman ground out. But Rene Garcia singled to right and Adron Chambers ran for him. Cedeno uncorked a wild pitch, sending Chambers to second. He scored on a Delino DeShields single. Marwin González followed with a double, plating DeShields. Gonzalez scored the winning run on a George Spring single.

Tanner Roark, battling for the fifth spot in the rotation, started. He allowed three runs on three hits and two walks, striking out three, in 3.1 IP. He gave up Jason Castro’s two-run homer in the third inning. Craig Stammen allowed three runs (one earned) on five hits in two innings, striking out four.

Will Rhymes went 3-for-5 with two RBIs, Nate McLouth homered and Mike Fontenot drove in three and scored twice.

 

 

Washington Nationals Spring Training: Nats power past Houston 8-5

Home runs by Bryce Harper and Wilson Ramos in the first inning led the Washington Nationals past the Houston Astros 8-5 on Friday in Viera, FL.

Both home runs came of Astros start Brett Oberholtzer, who allowed five runs total on six hits in two innings of work. Ramos finished 2 of 3 with 3 RBIs, Zach Walters continued his good spring by driving in two runs, and Adam LaRoche had a pair of base hits in three trips to the plate.

Tanner Roark started when Doug Fister was scratched with a sore elbow. The team indicated that it wasn’t an issue, but just normal soreness at his point in the spring. Roark pitched 2.2 innings and allowed one run on four hits, striking out three. The run came on a solo home run by minor league 1B Marc Krauss.

“He’s got a little inflammation in his elbow,” Williams said of Fister. “So we had an MRI taken of it yesterday and it shows a little inflammation in there, so we’re going to push him a couple of days just to make sure, get it out of there. But it came back good, he’s just go some inflammation.”

Christian Garcia, trying to earn a spot in the bullpen, allowed two runs — neither earned — on two hits and a walk in 1.1 innings. He struck out three. Rafael Soriano made his first appearance of camp and gave up two runs on three hits in one inning and struck out one.

Jerry Blevins, acquired in the offseason in a trade with Oakland for minor league speedster Billy Burns, threw 1.2 scoreless, hitless innings, though he did walk one.

The Nats host Atlanta tomorrow from Space Coast Stadium at 1:05 pm.

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