11 whiffs, two pickoffs offset six walks drawn
The Astros scored all three runs via the home run in a 3-2 win over the Nationals in the 2018 Grapefruit League opener.
Tommy Milone got the start and worked around a 1st-inning single with a double play and struck out two in the 2nd to face the minimum of six. Jaron Long was the first man out of the ‘pen and gave up a two-run HR to Max Stassi after hitting the leadoff batter. He then retired the next six in a row.
The Houston pitchers held the Nationals to a pair of leadoff walks – Howie Kendrick in the 2nd, Brian Goodwin in the 4th – through four innings before they knotted things up in the 5th.
Andrew Stevenson doubled with out and scored on a Chris Dominguez single. After Dominguez stole 2nd, Rafael Bautista whiffed and Victor Robles walked. Jose “Orange” Marmolejos squeezed in Dominguez with a two-out single for the 2-2 score.
Houston took the lead back right back as Houston’s J.D. Davis greeted Brady Dragmire with a solo HR to left field. The Astros got their fourth and final hit off Dragmire with one out in the 6th.
Wander Suero and Tim Collins each put up a goose egg, with Suero striking out the side in the 7th and Collins fanning one in the 8th.
Washington drew a pair of walks in the 6th (Reid Brignac, Kelvin Gutierrez) but did not get a runner into scoring position as Houston erased ’em both with a caught stealing and pickoff.
Victor Robles doubled to lead off the 8th for the Nats’ fourth and final hit and was stranded at third. Washington went in order in the 9th.
Here’s a rundown of how the Watchlist players did:
● Robles 1-1, 2B, following Goodwin in CF
● Marmolejos 1-2, K, replacing Matt Adams at 1B
● Taylor Gushue 0-2, K as the starting DH
● Pedro Severino 0-2, K as the starting C
● Gutierrez 0-1, BB, replacing Dominguez at 3B
● Rafael Bautista 0-3, 2K as the starting RF
The Nationals head to Jupiter to take on the Marlins minor-leaguers (and the ones they’ll send to Miami *rimshot!*) with Tanner Roark expected to make the start. The game can be heard locally on 1580 AM and online via MLB Audio.