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Zimmerman, Werth, Drew homer in Nationals' 12-1 rout of Mets


Zimmerman, Werth, Drew homer in Nationals' 12-1 rout of Mets

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) -- Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth and Stephen Drew homered as the Washington Nationals beat the New York Mets 12-1 on Wednesday in the final spring training game for both teams.

Zimmerman hit a three-run blast in the top of the first inning off Mets starter Matt Harvey while Werth and Drew each hit two-run homers.

"I've been really working lately, the past week, on staying inside the ball and driving the ball," Werth said. "I got something to hit and was able to stay inside it, put a pretty good hit on it."

Harvey, who was scratched from Tuesday's start because of a blood clot in his bladder, allowed three runs and two hits in two innings. Noah Syndergaard threw three innings out of the bullpen and gave up two runs -- both coming on the Werth home run.

"Today, I thought he threw the ball all right," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "He got behind in the count to a couple guys, Zimmerman jumped on a first pitch, which he can do. He kills us.

"Again, you can say whatever you want, it's still spring training. We'll worry about how he throws the ball on Sunday night."

Anthony Rendon had two singles and scored a run, and Daniel Murphy tripled and scored a run for the Nationals. Yoenis Cespedes doubled and singled for the Mets.

Reliever Trevor Gott started for Washington and gave up three hits and a walk in two scoreless innings.


Nationals: All-star Max Scherzer was scheduled to start Wednesday, but manager Dusty Baker opted to have him throw a simulated game in Viera. After being rained out in back-to-back games, the Nationals used nine relievers against the Mets.

"We kept him back mostly because it was going to be a bullpen day here," Baker said of Scherzer. "We didn't want to keep the whole bullpen back there. They needed work here because of the rainouts."

Mets: Harvey had a 7.50 ERA in four starts this spring, with nine strikeouts and nine walks in 12 innings. Last year, he had a 1.19 ERA in six starts with 21 strikeouts and one walk.

Harvey declined to speak with the media Wednesday.


Nationals: Washington was undefeated in its final seven games (6-0-1) and lost only one of its final 16 games this month.

Mets: New York was winless in its final 13 spring games (0-10-3). Travis Taijeron's solo home run off Jonathan Papelbon in the bottom of the ninth snapped a 24-inning scoreless skid for the Mets.


On Murphy's triple, the ball was hit into left-center field. Cespedes, playing center, took a poor route to the ball and attempted to backhand it. The ball ended up bouncing between him and left fielder Michael Contorto, allowing Murphy to take third.

David Wright had an infield single in the first after Zimmerman lost his footing on a broken-bat pop-up. Zimmerman slid on the edge of the infield dirt, stumbled, then dove for the ball, but still came up short.


First base umpire Ed Hickox had a close call on a foul-line drive by Bryce Harper in the top of the third. The hard-hit ball came within a few inches of Hickox's face. He then spun away and stumbled into National first base coach Davey Lopes.


Nationals: Washington is off Thursday, then hosts the Minnesota Twins in Washington on Friday.

Mets: New York travels to Las Vegas, home of the Triple-A affiliate, for a two-game series with the Chicago Cubs. RHP Paul Sewald, who was born in Las Vegas, will start for the Mets.

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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.