A two-run sixth by the Mets off non-roster invitee Bill Bray broke a 3-3 tie as the Nationals lost the first game of Spring Training, 5-3.
The first outing for Nats ace Stephen Strasburg was marred by a Ruben Tejada home run in the last of the first with no outs. Strasburg was also touched for a double, but retired five of the last six batters he faced. He finished with two runs allowed on three hits in his two innings, walking none and fanning one.
The Nationals reclaimed the lead in the next half inning. Ian Desmond singled with one out, came around to score on a Chris Marrero double, then Chris Snyder took Mets starer Shane Marcum deep for a brief 3-2 lead.
The Mets tied it up with three singles in the fourth, the last two coming with two outs off the second Nats pitcher, Craig Stammen, who was charged with a blown save. He had pitched a scoreless third, working around an error by Chad Tracy.
There were plenty of minor-leaguers who saw game action. Here’s a rundown of how they did:
• Marrero was 1-for-3 overall as the starting 1B
• Eury Perez went 1-for-3 in CF, taking over for Denard Span
• Corey Brown went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts, following Bryce Harper in LF
• Carlos Rivero made his first appearance in the OF, going 0-for-2 while taking over RF from Tyler Moore
• Matt Skole drew a walk in his sole plate appearance and played 3B after Chad Tracy was done
• Anthony Rendon popped up as a pinch-hitter and left two runners on in the 8th
• Jhonatan Solano went 0-for-2 after Snyder was done catching
• Micah Owings went 1-for-4 as the DH and played 1B after Marrero was done, committing an error
• Fernando Abad walked two and struck out one in his lone inning of work (5th)
• Erik Davis walked one and struck out two in the 7th inning
• Cole Kimball walked one and struck out none in the 8th
The Nationals return to Viera tomorrow afternoon for a game against Miami. The game will be broadcast on the radio with first pitch scheduled for 1:05 p.m. Rendon is expected to get the start at third base while Sandy Leon will be the first catcher off the bench.