Hector Santiago threw just 43 pitches this afternoon and surrendered six runs in the first inning that featured several hard-hit balls, including a towering two-run homer off the bat of Juan Soto. After already having given up six runs, he hit Victor Robles with a pitch—his fourth hit batsman this spring—which was the final straw for Mickey Callaway. Santiago was removed from the game in favor of Casey Coleman, who got the last out of the first inning and tossed a scoreless second and third inning.
Meanwhile the Mets were held without a hit by Stephen Strasburg until the fourth inning when Robinson Cano hit a single deflected by the second baseman into right field. Michael Conforto followed with a two-run homer to put the Mets on the board.
The Mets attempted to crawl back from the deficit, adding a run in the fifth thanks to a Brandon Nimmo RBI single. Pete Alonso crushed a two-run homer of his own in the seventh off Henderson Alvarez. But it wasn’t enough, as the Nationals tacked on one run off Tyler Bashlor and another three in the eighth in the form of a Tyler Goeddel three-run homer off Riley Gilliam, last year’s fifth round draft pick.
Some other highlights from today’s action:
- Robinson Cano continues to rake this spring, collecting two hits and a walk this afternoon. He owns a .486 batting average and a 1.255 OPS in Grapefruit League play.
- With perhaps the most Irish-sounding name on the field for either team today, the luck of the Irish was on the side of Ryan Patrick O’Rourke today. He tossed two scoreless innings, surrendering two hits and striking out two. With the last spot in the Mets bullpen up for grabs and Santiago not distinguishing himself today, O’Rourke could be a dark horse to secure it.
Full box score: MLB.com
The Mets face the Nationals again tomorrow in Port St. Lucie, but the Nationals will be split-squad. While Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard throw on the back fields, Kyle Dowdy will take the hill for the Mets against Joe Ross at 1:10pm.