With single runs in their last two “ups,” the Nationals walked off the Astros to take the 2019 Grapefruit League opener, 7-6.
Carter Kieboom (1-1, BB) drew a walk to lead off the 9th, took second on a Hunter Jones sacrifice, and scored two batters later on Adrian Sanzhez’s two-out double.
The win went to Jimmy Cordero who worked around a two-out walk in the 9th, the sole inning he pitched.
Max Scherzer got the start and was Rickey Henderson’d by Jake Marisnick but recovered to pitch a scoreless 2nd. He gave up a walk, three hits, but struck out three in two innings of work.
Joe Ross put up two goose eggs, and put on two baserunners (hit, walk,) and fanned two; a good start for his battle to return to the Washington rotation.
Aaron Barrett’s first spring training appearance since 2015 was a mixed bag. While reportedly hitting the low 90s on the gun, he was also stung for two runs on two hits and a walk in a single inning, for which he was charged with a blown save.
The Nats got back in the game in the bottom of the 6th when the O.K. (Other Kieboom) went all right over the left field fence for an Earl Weaver Special that cut Houston’s 6-2 lead to 6-5. Spencer would figure in the tying tally as his botched grounder scored Sanchez to tie it in the bottom if the 8th.
Just two other watchlist players same game action. Jose “Orange” Marmolejos took over for Matt Adams at 1B and went 0-for-2 with a whiff. Luis Garcia pinch-hit for the DH Brandon Snyder and struck out two batters after Carter Kieboom led off the 7th with double. Garcia would walk after Carter Kieboom was sacrificed in the 9th and made it to third base on Sanchez’s game-ending hit.
Erick Fedde gets the start this afternoon against the Cardinals in Jupiter, FL. The game is on MLB.tv and can be heard on MLB Audio (away feed for both).