Harper Returns to Nationals’ Lineup
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Bryce Harper returned to Washington’s lineup following surgery to remove an ingrown toenail, striking out twice and walking in the Nationals’ 8-1 exhibition victory over the Houston Astros on Saturday.
Stephen Strasburg pitched two innings in his first spring start for the Nationals. Coming off back-to-back 15-win seasons, Strasburg gave up a run on three hits and struck out two.
Houston starter Justin Verlander pitched three shutout innings and allowed two hits, while striking out five. Verlander has struck out nine in five shutout innings to begin Grapefruit League play.
RAYS 7, TIGERS 4
Tampa Bay ace Chris Archer didn’t make it out of the second inning in his second start. Archer set down just four batters and allowed two runs on two hits and two walks. C.J. Cron doubled in a run and scored for the Rays. Victor Martinez and Nicholas Castellanos both hit two-run home runs for Detroit. The Tigers announced ace Michel Fulmer will miss Sunday’s start against the Nationals with soreness in his right elbow. According to Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire, Fulmer’s issue is unrelated to the offseason surgery he had to move the ulnar nerve to a different part of his elbow to alleviate numbness that bothered him last season.
YANKEES 5, RED SOX 3
Xander Bogaerts had two hits, including a double, and scored a run for Boston. Jackie Bradley Jr. swiped his first base for the Red Sox. New York’s top pitching prospect Justus Sheffield pitched two innings and gave up a run on two hits and two walks. Aaron Hicks had a solo home run for the Yankees, while top prospect Miguel Andujar capped New York’s three-run rally in the eighth with a two-out RBI single.
BLUE JAYS 13, TWINS 8
Kevin Pillar and Yangervis Solarte homered for the first time and Russell Martin added a three-run shot for Toronto. Pillar and Solarte both went deep off Minnesota starter Phil Hughes, who pitched 2 1/3 innings and allowed four runs on five hits and a walk in his second start. Aaron Sanchez pitched three shutout innings and allowed one hit while striking out two in his second start for the Blue Jays.
ORIOLES 4, PHILLIES (SS) 2
Baltimore ace Kevin Gausman put a rough first start behind and pitched three perfect innings while striking out five. The right-hander retired just four batters and allowed four runs in his first outing. Gausman and the bullpen held a Philadelphia split squad hitless until Ryan Flaherty’s one-out single in the eighth.
PIRATES 4, PHILLIES (SS) 3
Pittsburgh ace Ivan Nova made his second start and pitched three innings, allowing one run on three hits while striking out two. Jose Osuna hit his first home run in his only at-bat, a pinch-hit two-run shot in the seventh as the Pirates scored three times to win for just the second time this spring. Brandon Leibrandt, the son of former major league pitcher Charlie Leibrandt, retired just two batters and gave up three runs on four hits in his first appearance for Philadelphia.
MARLINS 1, METS 0
Noah Syndergaard pitched three innings in his second start for New York. He allowed one run on a hit and a walk and struck out four. His fastball once again topped 100 mph. Mets closer Jeurys Familia allowed one hit in a scoreless fifth inning. Wilmer Flores had two hits and Juan Lagares picked up his first hit in his second straight start in center field for the Mets. Miami starter Jose Urena pitched two shutout innings. He allowed a hit and a walk while striking out two. Justin Bour drove in the Marlins’ run.
BRAVES 9, CARDINALS 2
Nick Markakis had two hits for Atlanta, giving him five in his first seven at-bats, and Freddie Freeman added two doubles. Braves ace Julio Tehran pitched three scoreless innings, striking out three. Miles Mikolas, in the running for the back of the St. Louis starting rotation, didn’t fare well in his first start. The right-hander pitched three innings and allowed four runs on six hits.
GIANTS (SS) 9, RANGERS 4
Johnny Cueto pitched two innings in his first start for San Francisco, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk. Joe Panik led off the game with his first home run for the Giants. San Francisco’s split squad roughed up Texas ace Cole Hamels in his first start. Hamels pitched 2 1/3 innings and gave up four runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out two. The Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo hit his first home run to account for both runs off Cueto. Delino DeShields, Jurickson Profar and Choo all had two hits for Texas.
WHITE SOX 9, ROYALS 5
Chicago’s top pitching prospect Michael Kopech made his second start and pitched 2 1/3 innings, allowing only an unearned run. Kopech gave up two hits and a walk, while striking out three. Kansas City’s No. 2 starter Ian Kennedy pitched two innings in his second start and allowed two runs on three hits and a walk, while striking out five. Matt Davidson had two hits and two RBIs for the White Sox. Alex Gordon and Salvador Perez both drove in runs for the Royals.
CUBS 7, REDS 4
Starting rotation hopeful Tyler Chatwood pitched two innings and allowed only a walk in his second outing for Chicago. Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber all had hits for the Cubs. Luis Castillo pitched 2 2/3 innings in his second start for Cincinnati. Castillo gave up a run on five hits, while striking out four. Reds’ slugger Joey Votto walked in three at-bats and remains hitless this spring.
PADRES 10, ATHLETICS 4
Hunter Renfroe homered for the second time and added an RBI single for San Diego, while top prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. walked twice and stole his first two bases. The Padres boast the top farm system according to MLB rankings. Stephen Piscotty hit his first spring homer for Oakland, a two-run shot. Kendall Graveman, the Athletics’ No. 1 starter, struggled again. Graveman got just four outs and gave up four runs on four hits and two walks. His ERA rose to 13.50 after two starts.
GIANTS (SS) 13, INDIANS 4
Austin Jackson had two hits, including a double, drove in a run and scored twice leading off for San Francisco. Mac Williamson had three hits, including his third home run, and drove in three runs for the Giants’ split squad. Cleveland starter Josh Tomlin pitched two innings in his second start. He allowed five runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out four. Edwin Encarnacion homered for the first time for the Indians — a two-run shot.
Justin Turner doubled and scored on a Matt Kemp home run as Los Angeles roughed up Arizona starter Robbie Ray in his second start. Ray got just two outs, while giving up five runs on four hits and two walks. Dodgers starter Alex Wood pitched 2 1/3 innings and allowed two runs on three hits and a walk. Yasmany Tomas had three hits and an RBI for the Diamondbacks.
BREWERS 6, ROCKIES 5
Trevor Story and Ryan McMahon both homered for the first time for Colorado. Rockies starter Kyle Freeland, who is vying for a spot in the back of the rotation, pitched three innings and allowed three runs on five hits and a walk. Milwaukee slugger Eric Thames had a double and his first spring home run, while Brewers ace Zach Davies pitched two innings in his second start. Davies allowed a run on two hits and a walk. Chase Anderson, who slots in at No. 3 in Milwaukee’s rotation, followed Davies and pitched three innings. He gave up a run on four hits and a walk.