Home Run Central: Adam Eaton started the day in Port St. Luce, Florida with an opposite field homer on a 2-2 fastball from New York Mets’ left-hander Steven Matz, clearing the Frank & Al’s Pizza sign on the outfield wall in First Data Field to put the Nationals ahead 1-0 early on the road. One out later, Anthony Rendon split the gap with a single to left-center off Matz, and Ryan Zimmerman walked in front of Matt Adams, who hit a 93 mph 1-2 fastball off the base of the wall in center to drive in another run, 2-0 Washington.
With two on and two out in the first, and Matz up to 33 pitches, Yan Gomes unloaded on a hanging curve from the lefty and sent a three-run blast over the left field fence, 5-0.
Matz was up to 46 when he gave up a two-run blast to left field on a 3-1 fastball to Anthony Rendon that went out over the Legler Orthodontics sign on the fence, 7-0.
Zimmerman followed with a home run of his own, over the same sign, on a 1-0 heater, 8-0.
With the score 8-1 in the third, Gomes hit a 3-1 pitch from righty Eric Hanhold out to left, connecting for his second home run of the game and third of the Spring.
Rendon homered again in the fourth, taking a 96 mph 1-1 fastball from Edwin Díaz for a ride to center field and over the Indian River State College sign on the outfield wall, 10-2.
Matt Adams hit the Nationals’ seventh home run of the game (maybe it’s the wind?) on a first-pitch fastball from Díaz that cleared the Legler Orthodontics sign again, 11-2, and it bounced off First Data Field’s scoreboard. No. 3 for Adams on the Spring.
Hellboy vs NY: Jeremy Hellickson got Wilson Ramos to ground into an inning-ending 6-4-3 DP to end an 18-pitch first, after he’d given up a leadoff walk to Brandon Nimmo and a one-out single by Robinson Canõ.
A one-out double (by Keon Broxton) and two-out double (by Luis Guillorme) got the Mets on the board in the second, down 8-1 at that point, but Hellickson held them there and finished the second at 36 pitches total.
A run scored in the third inning when Canõ hit a grounder to second to start a 4-6-3 DP with runners on first and third base, and Hellickson needed just eight pitches total to get out of it at 44 pitches overall, 9-2.
Hellickson’s 11-pitch, 1-2-3 fourth pushed him up to 55 pitches on the afternoon and worked around a single (and a balk) in 16-pitch fifth that left him at 71 pitches.
Bullpen Action: Matt Grace retired the Mets in order in a seven-pitch, 1-2-3 sixth.
Jimmy Cordero gave up back-to-back singles to the first two batters he faced in the bottom of the seventh, and a one-out sac fly brought in a run to make it an 11-3 game.
Scott Copeland tossed a scoreless eighth, working around a two-out single (at least his jersey said “Copeland” on the back, though the box score says “Henderson Alvarez”.
Justin Miller retired the side in order in the ninth to end it. 11-3 Nationals final.