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Adrian Sanchez gets hit in chest, still drives in 3 runs as Nationals beat Mets

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Adrian Sanchez gets hit in chest, still drives in 3 runs as Nationals beat Mets

WASHINGTON (AP) -- After a decade in the minors, not even a body blow from a hard-thrown baseball was going to keep Adrian Sanchez from taking another swing.

Sanchez shrugged off a 96 mph sinker to the chest and delivered an RBI single to cap off his impressive performance as the Washington Nationals beat the New York Mets 9-4 on Saturday. The rookie from Venezuela drove in three runs and made a big defensive play to help Gio Gonzalez get the final out of the seventh inning in a game that featured mostly reserves for both teams.

When a pitch from Mets reliever Jeurys Familia struck Sanchez squarely in the chest as he tried to bunt in the eighth, the 27-year-old remained on the ground for several minutes. Nationals manager Dusty Baker said Sanchez wanted to stay in the game and continue the at-bat and was glad to see him deliver for an important insurance run.

"I would've had to bring a truck to pull him off the field because he wanted that at-bat," Baker said of Sanchez, who wasn't available for interviews because he was still getting tests. "That picked our team up and it brought the house down, too, because everybody here loves Sanchy and we're all pulling for him big-time."

Sanchez was a big part of Washington's production against New York starter Robert Gsellman (5-6), who allowed six runs (two earned) on nine hits in four innings and was sent down to Triple-A Las Vegas afterward. Gsellman's own fielding error made his numbers look better but put the Mets in a hole.

Gonzalez (13-5) allowed two earned runs on six hits and struck out two in 6 2/3 innings and earned a standing ovation from the crowd as he departed. His only blemishes came on Juan Lagares' RBI single in the third that scored Jose Reyes and Wilmer Flores' 16th home run in the sixth.

"It's just trying to lock it in, stay focused, try not to get out of my game and try to do too much," Gonzalez said. "Every time I go out there I want to try to go deep in the game and save as much arm in the bullpen as possible."

With only one player starting who was in their opening day lineup, the Nationals also got two RBIs from Adam Lind and a big day from center fielder Michael A. Taylor, who went 3 for 4 with his sixth outfield assist and 11th stolen base of the season.


In his first appearance since May 10 after surgery to repair a blood clot in his right arm, Familia allowed three runs on four hits in a rough eighth inning. Mets manager Terry Collins, who wanted to ease Familia back in a non-save situation, called the right-hander "rusty."

"What's the proper rehab? Nobody knows, be it five innings or five appearances or whatever it might be, there's no guarantees," Collins said. "It just tells you how hard this league is."

Familia said he "tried too much" and didn't have his command. He added that his arm feels 100 percent and he expects to be OK after two more outings.


Mets: OF Yoenis Cespedes went on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring and will be examined Monday in New York. ... David Wright (cervical disk herniation) played five innings at third base for Class A St. Lucie and went 0 for 3 with a strikeout. ... RHP Matt Harvey (shoulder) tossed 4 2/3 innings in a rehab start for Double-A Binghamton at Portland, allowing five runs (three earned) and five hits. He struck out two, walked one and threw 47 of 72 pitches for strikes. ... RHP Noah Syndergaard (torn lat muscle) threw batting practice in Florida.

Nationals: 1B Ryan Zimmerman was out again after injuring his triceps muscle on a headfirst slide Thursday. Baker expects Zimmerman to play one game during Sunday's doubleheader. ... SS Trea Turner (broken right wrist) and OF Jayson Werth (bruised left foot) continued rehab assignments with Class A Potomac and are close to returning.


Nationals RHP Erick Fedde (0-1, 5.61 ERA) makes his second career start against Mets LHP Tommy Milone (1-3, 8.12) in the day game of the split doubleheader. With ace Max Scherzer pushed back to pitch Monday, Washington will start RHP Tanner Roark (10-8, 4.64 ERA) in the night game against RHP Seth Lugo (5-3, 4.85), who has been out with a shoulder injury.

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The sound of Bryce Harper's first spring training HR is beautiful


The sound of Bryce Harper's first spring training HR is beautiful

It's that wonderful time of year again — when baseball teams flock to warmer climates for spring training and the regular season is practically around the corner — and Bryce Harper is already killing it.

It took the Washington Nationals a few games to brush away their offseason cobwebs and get back into gear, but since the beginning of March, they're riding a five-game win streak as of Sunday the 4th.

They are 6-4-1 in spring training going into Monday's matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Since Thursday, the Nats have taken down — in order — the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, defending World Series champion Houston Astros, the Detroit Tigers and the Mets again. Sunday's 6-2 win against the Tigers was in large part thanks to Harper's bat, as the star of the team drilled his first home run of spring training. 


Turn up the volume for this one because the sound of Harper's contact with the ball is just beautiful — and perhaps enough to get you pumped for the March 29 opener.

Harper blew this ball away in the bottom of the third for a two-run homer with Howie Kendrick on base. He also had a single in the fourth and finished the game with three RBI.

Gio Gonzalez was the winning pitcher for the Nats. 


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Per usual, Max Scherzer strikes out Tim Tebow on three pitches


Per usual, Max Scherzer strikes out Tim Tebow on three pitches

We are fortunate enough to live in a world where we can watch a former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback (attempt to) hit against a three-time Cy Young pitcher in a Major League Baseball preseason game.

Max Scherzer took less than a minute to strike out Tim Tebow, who was batting cleanup for the Mets in a spring training game Friday. You can watch the whole at-bat here:

It looks like Tebow and Scherzer are starting to develop a pattern - last year’s matchup between the two went down the exact same way.

Tebow was able to redeem himself later in the game with his first hit of the year against Nats prospect Erick Fedde. He will likely begin the season with the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies, but Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he believes Tebow will eventually see some at-bats in the Majors.