VIERA, Fla. - After his last spring outing, his first in a Nationals uniform, Chris Young called his performance “erratic,” saying that he would follow up a solid string of pitches with a handful of disappointing pitches in a row.
Young was a little better today, bouncing back from surrendering a leadoff homer to open the game and throwing four solid innings.
The veteran right-hander leaves with a 2-1 lead. He allowed four hits and two walks, striking out three.
Young threw 72 pitches, 43 strikes.
After the leadoff homer by Marwin Gonzalez, which was absolutely crushed out to right, Young was able to pitch around a three-base error on Jayson Werth, setting down Chris Carter, Carlos Pena and Justin Maxwell in order to end the frame.
Young also pitched out of jams in the third and fourth innings, stranding runners at the corners in the fourth to end his outing.
Werth, meanwhile, atoned for his error in the top of the first by hitting his first homer of spring, a shot that flew out over the wall in left-center to tie the game.
Ryan Zimmerman has put on a show with the bat today, as well, crushing two doubles in his two at-bats.
Zimmerman smoked a ball down the left-field line in the first inning, and then laced a ball off the wall in right-center in the third.
He’s now batting .524 this spring. Yes, that number is correct.
What offseason shoulder surgery?
Update: Rafael Soriano’s first three spring appearances were pretty smooth. His fourth was a little rockier.
Working the seventh inning for the Nats, Soriano allowed a single to Brandon Laird leading off the frame, and then surrendered a first-pitch, two-run jack to Nate Freiman that bounced off the advertisements above the right-center field fence.
Soriano responded to set down the next three hitters he faced, including strikeouts of Carlos Pena and Robbie Grossman.
It’s now 3-2 Astros in the bottom of the seventh.