Tanner Roark ran into trouble in a long, three-run third inning and Enny Romero gave up a one-run lead in a four-run eighth as the Washington Nationals dropped a 9-7 decision to their NL East rivals from New York. Adam Eaton homered in his second Grapefruit League at bat in 2018, and Chris Dominguez hit his third home run of the Spring, but it wasn’t enough this afternoon in West Palm Beach, FL’s FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.
Wo-ark: Tanner Roark worked around a one-out single in the top of the first this afternoon, but ran into all kinds of trouble in the second, giving up two doubles and three walks over the course of the 39-pitch* inning that saw three runs cross the plate as the Mets took advantage of the free passes, an error on a potential double play grounder, and wild pitch by the Nationals’ starter, jumping out to a 3-0 lead. Roark was up to 59 pitches after just two innings.
Roark’s day ended with a 16-pitch third in which he worked around a two-out double for a scoreless frame that left him at 75 pitches overall.
[ed. note - “ * = Pitch count via Charlie and Dave on the 106.7 the FAN broadcast.”]
Roark said he feels fine physically. Results weren’t there. Said he felt the best he has all spring.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) March 17, 2018
Dominguez, Chris Dominguez: As noted previously in this space, Chris Dominguez put up solid numbers at Triple-A in the Chicago Cubs’ system in 2017, with a .284/.323/.443 line, 22 doubles, and 11 home runs over 102 games and 359 plate appearances. Heading into play today, the 31-year-old infielder was 12 for 34 (.353/.353/.618) with three doubles and two home runs in 20 games this Spring. He added his third Grapefruit League homer of the year in the bottom of the second, taking Mets’ starter A.J. Griffin deep for a solo shot that got the Nats on the board, down 3-1.
Matt Reynolds doubled in the next at bat and scored on an RBI single by Wilmer Difo to make it a one-run game after two, 3-2 NY.
HERE HE COMES TO SAVE THE DAY!!!: Adam Eaton received two standing ovations today in West Palm Beach, the first when he stepped in for his first Grapefruit League of 2018, and the second when he hit a leadoff home run to right-center off righty Rafael Montero to tie things up at 3-3 in the third. Eaton, of course, suffered a season-ending knee and ankle injury last April, and battled his way back, appearing in a number of minor league games this Spring before making his debut in this afternoon’s matchup with the Mets.
Adam Eaton has homered. In his first game back from a torn ACL.— Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) March 17, 2018
Bullpen Action: Sammy Solis struck out the side around a walk in a quick top of the fourth inning.
Edwin Jackson took the mound in the top of the fifth and gave up a two-out single and two-run home run by Gavin Cecchini and Wilmer Flores, respectively, putting the Mets back on top, 5-3.
E-Jax came back out with a scoreless sixth, and Ryan Madson took over on the mound in the seventh, striking out the side around a two-out single by Ty Kelly.
Hansel Robles gave up the lead in the bottom of the seventh, with Moises Sierra taking the right-hander deep for a go-ahead, three-run blast, 6-5 Nationals, but the lead didn’t last long.
Enny Romero, the hard-throwing left-hander gave up three straight singles, 6-6, and a sac bunt thought brought in a run, 7-6, before former Nats’ outfielder Matt den Dekker made it 9-6 with a two-run single that drove in the seventh and eighth runs Romero has allowed in six innings of work this Spring.
Sierra connected for his second hit of the day, driving in his fourth run of the afternoon in the ninth, but that’s how it ended.
Final Score: 9-7 Mets