The Washington Nationals had an evening game against a team they played a day ago with a two-hour road trip when seemingly half of their Major League roster was at the Daytona 500 on Sunday. So what do they do? They sent most of the team’s top prospects to face the New York Mets at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie, FL.
The result? The Nats pounded out 17 hits and Gio Gonzalez and the kids beat the Mets 6-4 and got a chance to show off some of the more prized assets in the system.
Gonzalez, making his first start of the spring, threw two solid innings, allowing no hits and one walk while striking out three.
The lineup was full of names familiar to Nats prospect hounds. Eury Perez led off and went 3-for-3 with three infield singles, two runs scored and a stolen base. He was replaced by Michael Taylor (1-for-2, run). Corey Brown went 1-for-2 with a run. Anthony Rendon went 1-for-2 and was robbed of a home run to straight-away center. Chris Marrero singled in three trips. Matt Skole doubled to right center and went 1-for-4. Destin Hood had an RBI double and Zach Walters played short and went 1-for-3. Even Jason Martinson made an appearance.
In fact, the only batters that were on the Nats’ big league roster last season that played were Tyler Moore (1-for-3, RBI), Steve Lombardozzi (2-for-3, run, two RBIs) and Brown.
On the mound, Nathan Karns put in two innings of good work, striking out three and allowing a single base runner on a single, reinforcing his position as the Nats Minor League Pitcher of the Year for 2012.
Ross Ohlendorf, one of the stable of MLB pitchers the Nats will stash in Syracuse in the event of injury, gave up one run on one hit and one walk, striking out three in three innings. Ryan Mattheus pitched a scoreless ninth to earn the spring training save.
The Nationals travel to Disney on Tuesday to face the Atlanta Braves for the first time this spring. Game time is 1:05 pm.