While the odds are still good they’ll be teammates next month in Harrisburg, for one night Carter Kieboom and Taylor Gushue pwned A.L. Cy Young runner-up Justin Verlander with three homers in a 5-3 Nats win over the Astros last night in West Palm Beach.
Kieboom got the start at 2B and also walked to finish 2-for-2 with two runs scored and three RBI. He was joined in the starting lineup by Victor Robles in his usual spot (CF) and usual slot (leadoff). Robles also reached base three times with a single and two walks, racked up two steals (nos. 4 and 5), and scored the insurance run on a passed ball in the 7th. Shhh. Both committed their second error of the spring.
The barrage took the edge off winning pitcher Stephen Strasburg’s struggles, as the Nats’ No. 1 pick from 2009 allowed two runs on five hits and four hits over four and 2/3rds innings while striking out six. Vidal Nuño stranded two while getting the last out in the 5th and a quartet of relievers came out for an inning apiece, with the first three earning a hold and the last, Henderson Alvarez, getting the save.
Jake Noll was the lone watchlist player to both come off the bench and get an at-bat as the 1B-3B struck out to end 7th while pinch-hitting for Matt Grace.
The Nats remain home in West Palm Beach to host the Braves. Patrick Corbin is scheduled to make his fourth spring appearance. The game will be broadcast on MASN and you can avoid FP by tuning into the Atlanta radio feed on MLB Audio.