Micah Owings hit a grand slam in the 7th off former White Sox and Dodgers farmhand John Ely as the Nats took their third straight Grapefruit League game, 6-3 over the Houston Astros this afternoon in Viera.
Owings, a former RHP in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization [insert reference to Mike Rizzo's tenure here], is attempting to return the majors as a position player. In nine games, the 30-year-old has gone 5-for-14 with three doubles, two HR, and eight RBI for a .368 BA and a slugging percentage of .842. He’s expected to start the 2013 campaign in Syracuse, most likely splitting time between 1B and DH with the occasional game in LF.
Chris Young was much sharper in his second spring start, going four innings and allowing two walks and four hits, including a solo HR in the first inning by Marwin* Gonzalez.
* God help him if he’s ever traded to Miami; just sayin’
Rafael Soriano got the dreaded blown-save-win by giving up the go-ahead runs in the top of the 7th on a two-run shot by journeyman Nate Freiman.
Playing time for the minor-leaguers hasn’t quite dwindled yet. Here’s a rundown of how the notables did:
- Corey Brown went 1-for-2 with a run scored while playing CF in place of Denard Span
- Carlos Maldonado went 1-for-1 pinch-hitting for DH Ryan Zimmerman
- Chris Marrero went 0-for-1 and took over 1B from Adam LaRoche
- Zach Walters went 0-for-1 after subbing for SS Ian Desmond
- Carlos Rivero went 0-for-2 while playing 3B in Danny Espinosa’s slot in the lineup
(starting 3B Steve Lombardozzi finished the game at 2B)
With the win, the Nationals improve to 9-8 for the spring. It’s back on the road tomorrow for an afternoon game against the Cardinals in Jupiter. Dan Haren is scheduled to make his fourth spring outing, opposed by Adam Wainwright for St. Louis. If it’s 3 a.m. and you’re not lonely, you can catch the game on tape delay early Saturday morning on the MLB Network.