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Mets fall to Nationals in David Wright's spring debut


Mets fall to Nationals in David Wright's spring debut

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) -- New York Mets captain David Wright got two hits in his spring debut, a 12-7 loss to the Washington Nationals on Friday night.

The All-Star third baseman was diagnosed with spinal stenosis last season and advised by doctors to take a month off after the World Series, delaying his offseason routine. He says he's on track to be ready for opening day.

"I'll take this, because game-type situation, these guys are well ahead of me as far as the speed of the game, getting the at-bats," Wright said.

"For me, it was about trying to put together good at-bats. I was able to get the hit, get some confidence going early, I had much better at-bats, especially the last one, I got to see some pitches and I'm really happy with how the day went," he said.

Wright had a pair of singles, including an opposite-field hit on the first pitch he saw from Nationals top prospect Lucas Giolito in the first inning.

Mets starter Bartolo Colon struggled, allowing eight runs and nine hits in five innings. He gave up three home runs and four doubles. Colon has a 10.03 ERA in three starts this spring.

Michael Taylor homered among his three hits and scored three times. Danny Espinosa hit a three-run homer and Chris Heisey added a solo shot.

Michael Conforto hit a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth and Juan Lagares also homered for the Mets.

Giolito threw two scoreless innings. He allowed a hit, struck out one and walked one.

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Nationals: Giolito said it was a neat experience facing Wright after looking up to him as a Little Leaguer.

"It was cool to have him stand in the box against me," Giolito said. "It's like what you dream about as a kid is slowly turning into a reality."

"It's cool to stand up there and have guys like (Curtis) Granderson, (Yoenis) Cespedes, Wright -- all those guys up there. I was watching them in the postseason last year and now I get to pitch against them. It was really cool," he said.

Mets: Colon, whose career spring ERA is over 6.00, said he's not worried about the results in March.

"These training games don't worry me, this is what they are for, so I can find those things I need to work on and work on them," Colon said through a translator.


Nationals starters Max Scherzer and Tanner Roark each pitched five innings against minor leaguers Friday.

"They've got to get their work in," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. "It doesn't matter who they throw against -- it's a better barometer when you throw against good competition -- but I think it's easier for a pitcher to throw against anybody than a hitter to get his timing against anybody. It's about getting your work now. It's about getting your legs underneath you. It's about getting endurance."


Wright is scheduled to be off Saturday, then play back-to-back games Sunday and Monday. . Colon struck out five Nationals on Friday -- all on called third strikes. . The Nationals optioned catching prospect Pedro Severino to Triple-A on Friday.


The Mets travel to Viera on Saturday to play the Nationals. RHP Matt Harvey, the Mets opening day starter, will face RHP Joe Ross.

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Former Nats manager Jim Riggleman named interim manager of Reds

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Former Nats manager Jim Riggleman named interim manager of Reds

Remember Jim Riggleman, the infamous Nats manager that resigned from the position back in 2011 after a win against the Seattle Mariners? Well he's back in a managerial position.

Bryan Price was fired as manager of the Cinncinati Reds Thursday, after the team started the 2018 season 3-15. Riggleman, who spent four seasons as their bench coach, was named the interim manager to replace Price.

Riggleman was promoted to interim manager of the Nats in July of 2009, after Manny Acta was let go midseason. He stayed on as manager for 2010 and 2011, and he then resigned from the team on June 23, 2011 after a win agaisnt the Seattle Mariners. He had lead the team to a win in 11 of their last 12 games prior to stepping away.

The reason behind the dramatic exit was due to the organization not yet picking up his 2012 contract option. He had reportedly requested a conversation with the front office about his future with the organization, and was upset after they declined. At 58 years-old, he felt he deserved more respect.

He's been with the Reds organization since 2012, and has spent time managing the Padres, Cubs and Mariners, in addition to the Nationals. His career winning pct. with each team has been below-.500.

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Nationals fall after Mets score 9 runs in 8th inning

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Nationals fall after Mets score 9 runs in 8th inning

NEW YORK -- Yoenis Cespedes launched a grand slam during a nine-run outburst in the eighth inning that rallied the New York Mets past the Washington Nationals 11-5 on Wednesday night, preventing a three-game sweep.

Todd Frazier tied it at 4 with a two-run single and pinch-hitter Juan Lagares put New York ahead for the first time with a two-run double off ineffective setup man Ryan Madson (0-2).

Shut down by Tanner Roark for seven innings, the first-place Mets broke loose in the eighth and improved to 13-4 with a stirring victory against their NL East rivals.

Ryan Zimmerman homered twice, tripled and drove in four runs for the Nationals, who pulled off their own big comeback in the eighth inning of the series opener.

Two nights later, New York returned the favor.

Roark limited the Mets to two hits and left leading 4-2. Michael Conforto, Cespedes and Asdrubal Cabrera singled off Madson to load the bases with nobody out in the eighth. Jay Bruce fouled out before Frazier smacked a two-run single up the middle and advanced to second on the throw home.

After an intentional walk to Adrian Gonzalez loaded the bases again, pinch-hitter Wilmer Flores struck out. Lagares then lined a two-run double the other way, just inside the right-field line at the outer edge of the infield grass, to put the Mets up 6-4.

Sammy Solis walked Amed Rosario and Conforto to force in a run. Cespedes connected for his sixth career slam -- the third by the Mets already this season -- off A.J. Cole, sending fans into a frenzy.

Both of Cespedes' hits in the inning came on 0-2 pitches.

AJ Ramos (1-1) worked a perfect inning for his first win with the Mets since being acquired from Miami last July.

Howie Kendrick reached on an infield single for Washington in the first and Bryce Harper drew his 24th walk, most in the majors. Zimmerman, batting .121 at that point and struggling to make opponents pay for bypassing Harper, came through with a drive to left-center off Steven Matz for his second home run of the season.

Matz steadied himself after a 33-pitch first inning and retired his final 10 batters. He was pulled for a pinch hitter in the fourth after throwing 74 pitches.

Cabrera doubled to open the fourth and scored on Gonzalez's single. Zimmerman had a chance to start an inning-ending double play, but his throwing error from first base allowed another run to score on Jose Lobaton's RBI grounder as the Mets cut it to 3-2.

After Mets pitchers retired 16 in a row, Zimmerman's leadoff triple in the seventh got past a diving Bruce in right field, and Moises Sierra followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 4-2.

Zimmerman also hit a solo homer in the ninth.