In his second start of the Spring, Aníbal Sánchez took on the Houston Astros this afternoon, in Grapefruit League action from West Palm Beach, FL. He ran into some trouble early.
After giving up a one-out single to center by Michael Brantley, Washington Nationals’ right fielder Chuck Taylor misplayed a Carlos Correa fly to right into a single, then Yuli Gurriel followed with an RBI double and Josh Reddick hit a sac fly to right field that brought in a second run, 2-0.
Juan Soto, Victor Robles, and Trea Turner let a pop to left field drop in for a hit in the first at bat of the Astros’ second, with the miscommunication putting Nick Tanielu on second base with no one out.
Sánchez retired the next three batters in order to keep it a two-run lead after one and a half.
Manager Davey Martinez told reporters before today’s game that he wanted to get Sánchez up and down three times, but he was up to 39 pitches total after two, so the Nationals went to the bullpen for Joe Ross in the top of the third inning.
Joe Ross’s Turn: Ross gave up back-to-back singles by the first two batters he faced in the top of the third, (Carlos Correa and Gurriel), and threw a wild pitch that moved both of the rnners into scoring position, but he stranded them at the end of the inning to keep it a 2-0 game in the Astros’ favor.
Victor and Trea: Victor Robles singled off Hector Rondon (who took over for Astros’ starter Gerrit Cole), stole second, and scored one out later on an RBI double to short right by Trea Turner, who connected for first double of the Spring and drove in the Nationals’ first run of the game, 2-1.
A wild pitch from Rondon moved Turner to third, and after Juan Soto walked to put runners on the corners, Brian Dozier hit a grounder to short that Carlos Correa couldn’t handle, 2-2, when Turner scored.
Ross issued a two-out walk in his second inning of work in the fourth, but stranded the only runner to reach base to keep it tied at 2-2.
Yan Gomes singled to start the Nationals’ half of the fourth, and walks by Robles and Raudy Read loaded the bases with one out before Trea Turner drove in two runs with a single that made it 4-2 Nationals.
Every day is Trea Dea.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) March 3, 2019
2-for-2 with a 2B, BB, SB and this 2-run 1B.
(Groundskeepers are patching up the hole it probably left in the OF wall.) pic.twitter.com/KbFoF9nvuQ
Bullpen Action: Trevor Rosenthal retired the Astros in order in the fifth. Austin L. Adams gave up a leadoff walk then record three straight Ks to get out of the sixth. Right-hander Kyle Barraclough worked around a single in the top of the seventh, with backstop Pedro Severino helping his pitcher out with a pick off at first.
Matt Grace got the eighth and retired the Astros in order. Austen Williams handled the top of the ninth, retiring the side in order to end the game. 4-2 final.