Nationals

Quick Links

Juan Soto crushes two homers in Nats win over Yankees

Juan Soto crushes two homers in Nats win over Yankees

NEW YORK  -- Juan Soto is barely old enough to be in college, let alone lighting it up at Yankee Stadium.

The teenage rookie homered twice and drove in four runs, becoming the youngest player in 29 years to go deep in a regular-season game in the Bronx, and the Washington Nationals beat New York 5-4 on Wednesday night:

https://twitter.com/Jesse__Foster/status/1007070424574889985

After getting a game off Tuesday, his first in three-plus weeks as a major leaguer, a refreshed Soto showed exactly why he was rated one of baseball's best prospects.

"I'll start off by saying, Soto is really good. How's that?" Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. "He understands the game. He understands good at-bats."

With family from New York in the crowd of 45,030, the 19-year-old outfielder from the Dominican Republic lofted a three-run homer into the left-field corner off Sonny Gray in the fourth inning to give Washington -- shut out in its previous two games -- a 4-3 lead.

Soto then launched a titanic shot in the seventh against Chasen Shreve (2-1), putting the Nationals back in front 5-4.

Projected at 436 feet, the drive soared to the back of a standing-room terrace above and beyond the Yankees' bullpen in right-center. It also ended a 23-inning scoreless streak for New York relievers and made Soto (19 years, 231 days old) the youngest player in Nationals history to have a multihomer game.

"Strong kid," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.

Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. was 19 years, 190 days old when he homered (also twice) for Seattle at old Yankee Stadium on May 30, 1989. Andruw Jones was 19 as well when he hit two home runs there for Atlanta in Game 1 of the 1996 World Series.

"It feels pretty good. Two good outfielders," Soto said. "I like that."

Called up from Double-A Harrisburg on May 20, Soto is batting .344 with five homers and 12 RBIs.

"He has power. Super young. Good hitter," Shreve said. "I didn't do my job. We lost the game because of it."

New York got a long home run from its own impressive rookie, 21-year-old Gleyber Torres, to tie it at 4 in the fifth. Greg Bird also hit a solo homer and Giancarlo Stanton had three hits for the Yankees, including an RBI single.

Adam Eaton and Matt Adams had three hits apiece for the Nationals, who made five outs on the bases but still won to split the two-game interleague series between World Series contenders. The teams meet again next Monday in Washington to complete a May 15 matchup suspended with the score tied 3-all in the sixth inning and to make up a May 16 rainout.

Justin Miller (4-0) struck out four in 1 2/3 innings on his 31st birthday.

"Pretty nice," Miller said. "I guess I'm just in the weeds -- I keep snaking wins."

Sammy Solis knocked down Brett Gardner's comebacker with a runner on third for the final out of the seventh. Ryan Madson pitched out of trouble in the eighth and Sean Doolittle worked a perfect ninth for his 17th save in 18 chances.

New York lost for only the fifth time in its last 23 home games.

Nationals rookie Erick Fedde allowed four runs and six hits in five innings. Pitching in place of injured ace Stephen Strasburg, the right-hander was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse before the game to make his fifth major league start and second this season.

MORE NATIONALS NEWS: 

Quick Links

Astros wade through first boo-filled night of many to come

Astros wade through first boo-filled night of many to come

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- The only agreed upon factor of Saturday night’s spring training opener was affinity for Dusty Baker. 

Baker, alone at home plate to receive a ceremonial first pitch, raised his hand to the crowd when announced. Both sides cheered. Those in red stood, some shouted his name. Others on the Houston side could unabashedly applaud Baker. He represented what’s next, not what was.

But the past chased the Astros from the second the ballpark opened. Any Houston highlights were followed by hefty boos. “FOR THE H” flashed on the right-center field video board during the evening on what was supposed to be an Astros “home” game. However, there was nothing warm and fuzzy about the location for the Astros, an experience sure to track them outside of Houston throughout the season.

The Astros were booed en masse since Baker did not play any of his regulars. Myles Straw, Jeremy Pena and Taylor Jones began the game against Max Scherzer. It’s difficult to let Nos. 3, 89 and 79, respectively, have it on the first night of spring training. But, those on the team in 2017 remained safely in the dugout, prompting an expansion of targets.

Before Scherzer began his night, the Astros’ mascot, Orbit, ran across the face of the Washington dugout with an oversized Houston flag. He, too, was booed -- with fervor. Anything representing the Astros was in play since their main facets were not on the field.

Two signs carried by Nationals fans were taken by a ballpark employee. Some Washington fans banged on their seats during the game to mimic the Astros’ prior method for stealing signs. Scherzer thought something colorful had a chance to leak into the setting.

“I figured something like that was going to happen,” Scherzer said. “I got a good taste of what it’s like [when] facing [Bryce Harper] last year when we had our whole crowd going. I thought our fans would boo. I didn’t realize it was going to be that loud when I face Harp. That was a playoff atmosphere. Everything gets turned up a notch when the fans get into it.”

Scherzer threw 22 pitches, 13 for strikes in two innings. He allowed a single and struck out two batters he’s unlikely to ever face again. Otherwise, he was nonplussed to face the Astros in a game rain forced to pause, then stop, after two innings and a head-scratching delay.

“We won the World Series,” Scherzer said. “It wasn’t like I have a vendetta to hold. So, for me, over here we’re just trying to move forward and get ready for our season.”

Baker thought the reception went as expected.

“There were a lot of Nationals fans here,” Baker said. “We had a lot of fans here, too. You could tell who was for us and who was against us. All in all, it wasn’t too bad. You kind of expect to get some. But they weren’t too bad, though.”

So, the night ultimately served as the expected start. Scherzer pitched well. The Astros were booed.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

MORE NATIONALS NEWS:

Quick Links

Astros booed, fans' signs taken in spring training opener against Nationals

Astros booed, fans' signs taken in spring training opener against Nationals

As if this week hadn’t already been bad enough for the Houston Astros, it got a bit worse on Saturday afternoon when they faced the Washington Nationals in the spring training opener. 

The Astros took the field at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches and were welcomed by the fans with an eruption of boos. The two teams share the facility, but it was Houston's home game. 

Since 2017 Washington and Houston have shared their spring training facility in West Palm Beach and made it a tradition to kick off their respective Grapefruit League schedules against each other. They will play six times this spring - though Saturday's opener was postponed by rain after a scoreless two innings. 

One courageous fan really got into the act, holding up a sign reading "Houston *'s" that was eventually confiscated by ballpark personnel, according to the Associated Press.

If this start is any indication of what they will face throughout this season, it's going to be a long 2020 for the Astros. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

MORE NATIONALS NEWS: