Two big innings were enough for the Houston Astros, who scored three in the first, four in the fifth, and three in the ninth this afternoon on the way to a 12-3 win over Washington’s Nationals in West Palm Beach, Florida’s FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.
Nationals’ left-hander Tommy Milone gave up five hits, two walks, and three earned runs in two innings of work, and Austin Adams walked all four batters he faced in a rough top of the fifth that blew things wide open.
Tommy, Can You Hear Me?: Tommy Milone hadn’t allowed a run in eight innings of work on the mound this Spring going into this afternoon’s game, but five batters into today’s matchup with the Houston Astros, he’d already had three runs score on him as the defending World Series champs strung together a one-out walk, single, and back-to-back RBI doubles and jumped out to a 3-0 lead.
Bryce Harper helped the Nationals’ left-handed starter avoid having a fourth run score, throwing a runner (Josh Reddick) out at the plate on a fifth straight hit, (a single to right field by Tyler White), and Milone held the ‘Stros to just the three runs in a long first.
Milone worked around a one-out walk and single in the second, striking Carlos Correa out to end a scoreless frame, but he was at 49 pitches overall at that point, so Davey Martinez went to the bullpen for Trevor Gott in the third.
Bullpen Blowout: Gott in the third, and Sammy Solis in the fourth, completed scoreless frames, but Austin Adams ran into trouble in the fifth when he issued back-to-back-to-back walks to start the inning and ... then gave up a fourth straight walk (to Josh Reddick) that forced in a run and ended his outing after 22 pitches, 16 of them balls.
Matt Grace took over on the mound with the bases loaded, and two more runs scored with Matt Adams bobbling the ball on a throw to first on a potential double play, and Bryce Harper dropping the ball on a fly to right that went in and out of his glove, 6-0 Astros, and it was 7-0 by the end of the top of the fifth.
Grace came back out for the sixth, working around two singles for a scoreless frame.
Sean Doolittle worked around a walks and a single for a scoreless top of the seventh.
Brandon Kintzler gave up back-to-back, one-out singles in the eighth, but stranded both runners to keep it a 7-0 game in the Astros’ favor.
Ismael Guillon gave up four hits, two walks, and five runs in the Astros’ ninth, continuing a rough day for all of the Nationals’ pitchers.
Matt Reynolds walked and scored on an RBI double by Chris Dominguez as the Nationals avoided the shutout with a run in the ninth.
Dominguez scored on a base-loaded walk by Blake Perkins, and Reid Brignac scored on a walk by Spencer Kieboom to make it respectable... ;)
Final Score: 12-3 Astros