LaRoche, Espinosa homer before starters exit

VIERA, Fla. - There weren’t too many called strikes taken by Nationals hitters in their final Grapefruit League at-bats this afternoon.

Everyone is eager to get the heck out of here and make their way up to D.C.

The Nationals attacked Mets starter Domingo Tapia today, pouncing on early pitches in the zone and doing some damage with them.

Adam LaRoche crushed a solo homer way out to right leading off the second, and two batters later, Danny Espinosa followed with a longball of his own.

LaRoche now has four home runs this spring, including three in his last five games. Espinosa’s homer was his second of spring, and he’ll end his Grapefruit League campaign with a .347 average.

Not too bad for a guy who was considered one of the Nats’ bigger question marks coming into spring after it was learned that Espinosa would opt to play through a torn rotator cuff.

With the exception of catcher Kurt Suzuki, the starters have all come out of the game now after four innings, including starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez, who threw four shutout innings in his final tune-up for the regular season.

Gonzalez allowed one hit and two walks and struck out seven. He threw 66 pitches, 39 for strikes.

Bryce Harper went 1-for-1 with a single and a sacrifice fly today before leaving the game. He’s now 10-for-his-last-10, but his streak of 11 straight plate appearances reaching base has come to an end.

I could make another sarcastic comment about how Harper should probably open at Triple-A, but I think I’ve played those out.

Harper’s Grapefruit League season ends with him batting .484.

It’s 4-0 Nats.

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