Washington at Houston

    Scoreboard
    Washington1
    Houston «3

    Astros 3, Nationals 1

    •  

    KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) - When Bryce Harper came to bat for the first time as a starter in a major league exhibition game, he singled off a pitcher almost twice his age.

    Harper, the Washington Nationals' first overall pick in the 2010 draft, singled sharply off Livan Hernandez on Saturday in the second inning of a 3-1 loss to the Houston Astros.

    "It's nice being able to start and see different guys and different arms and pitching and things like that," said the 19-year-old Harper, a candidate for Washington's right field job. "Knowing that I'm going to get three at bats a game is pretty nice. I'm just trying to go up there and not do too much, and trying to get my strikeouts down and my walks up."

    Hernandez, who was with the Nationals the last two seasons, is probably going to be in the Astros' rotation and wants to pitch at least three more years.

    "I want to be the Jamie Moyer of right-handers," he said.

    Harper went 1 for 3, grounding out twice. His first time up against the 37-year-old Hernandez, baseball's active leader in games started (474) and innings pitched (3,121 2-3), provided the kind of learning opportunity that interests the hard-swinging rookie this spring.

    "I'm trying to get in work in deep counts - 0-2 or 2-2, 1-2, things like that," Harper said. "I want to be in those battle counts, just be in that situation and not do to much, drive the ball to the left side and just try to hit off-speed pitches and react to the fastball. If I can see a lot of off-speed and get used to that, it's huge for me."

    Harper, who hit .297 with 17 home runs in 109 games in Class A and AA, figures to get a long look this spring, but says it's too early to think about making the team.

    "If I play my game and do things right, I've got a shot," he said. "I'm not going to try to do too much and just roll with what I get."

    Chris Johnson's two-run home run off losing pitcher Ross Detwiler provided the Astros with their winning margin in the exhibition opener for both teams.

    Hernandez and Nationals starter Edwin Jackson pitched two shutout innings each. The win went to Kyle Weiland, the former Boston Red Sox pitcher, who gave up one hit in two shutout innings.

    The game marked the return of Astros catcher Jason Castro, who missed the entire 2011 season with a knee injury sustained in the second game of the spring. Castro threw out Jason Michaels easily on a stolen base attempt in the second inning.

    "It was nice to get in there and have one of those in the first game," Castro said. "In spring training, guys usually like to run so I was expecting something."

    Jed Lowrie, who came from Boston in the same December trade as Weiland, led off the Houston seventh with a triple, leading to their final run.

    Doubles by Roger Bernadina and Jesus Flores produced Washington's only run in the fifth inning.

     
    Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
     
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    Washington Nationals
    HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
    Ian Desmond, SS3000012 .000
        Andres Blanco, SS1000000 .000
    Danny Espinosa, 2B3000022 .000
        Stephen Lombardozzi, 2B1000000 .000
    Rick Ankiel, CF2010001 .500
       a- Brett Carroll, PH-CF2010000 .500
    Chad Tracy, 1B2000001 .000
        Tyler Moore, 1B2000011 .000
    Jason Michaels, DH2010000 .500
       b- Anthony Rendon, PH-DH2000000 .000
    Mark Teahen, 3B2000010 .000
        Carlos Rivero, 3B2000010 .000
    Bryce Harper, RF3010000 .333
        Xavier Paul, RF1000010 .000
    Roger Bernadina, LF3120001 .667
        Corey Brown, PR-LF0000000 .000
    Jesus Flores, C20210001.000
        Jhonatan Solano, C1000001 .000
    Totals3418107  
    a-flied out for Ankiel in the 6th
    b-flied out for Michaels in the 6th
    Batting
    2B - Roger Bernadina (1, Myers), Jesus Flores 2 (2, Weiland, Myers)
    3B - Rick Ankiel (1, Hernandez)
    RBI - Jesus Flores (1)
    CS - Jason Michaels (1, 2nd base by Hernandez/Castro)
    Team LOB - 6
    Fielding
    DP - Espinosa-Desmond-Tracy, Espinosa-Desmond-Tracy, Blanco-Lombardozzi-Moore
    E - Carlos Rivero (1, Misplayed grounder)
    Washington Nationals
    PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
    Edwin Jackson 2100200 0.00
    Ross Detwiler (L,0-1) 2222131 9.00
    Chad Durbin 2100020 0.00
    Atahualpa Severino 1111000 9.00
    Sean Burnett 1000120 0.00
    HBP - Bourgeois (by Atahualpa Severino)
    Pitches-Strikes - Edwin Jackson 13-5, Ross Detwiler 19-14, Chad Durbin 11-11, Atahualpa Severino 6-4, Sean Burnett 11-7
    Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Edwin Jackson 4-0, Ross Detwiler 1-2, Chad Durbin 3-1, Atahualpa Severino 3-0, Sean Burnett 1-0
    Batters Faced - Edwin Jackson 7, Ross Detwiler 9, Chad Durbin 7, Atahualpa Severino 5, Sean Burnett 4
    Houston Astros
    HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
    J.B. Shuck, LF2010101 .500
        Justin Ruggiano, LF1000001 .000
    Jose Altuve, 2B3010012 .333
        Brian Bixler, 2B1000010 .000
    Travis Buck, RF3000011 .000
        Brad Snyder, RF1000000 .000
    Jack Cust, DH2100111 .000
       a- George Springer, PH-DH0000100 .000
    Chris Johnson, 3B3112010 .333
        Joe Thurston, 3B1000011 .000
    Jed Lowrie, SS2010100 .500
        Brandon Barnes, PR-CF0100000 .000
    Brett Wallace, 1B3000012 .000
        Jonathan Singleton, 1B0000000 .000
    Jason Bourgeois, CF2010000 .500
        Diory Hernandez, SS0000000 .000
    Jason Castro, C1000000 .000
        Carlos Corporan, C2001000 .000
    Totals2735347  
    a-walked for Cust in the 8th
    Batting
    3B - Jed Lowrie (1, Severino)
    HR - Chris Johnson (1, Detwiler)
    RBI - Chris Johnson 2 (2), Carlos Corporan (1)
    SB - Jason Bourgeois (1, 2nd base off Severino/Solano)
    Team LOB - 5
    Houston Astros
    PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
    Livan Hernandez 2300020 0.00
    Kyle Weiland (W,1-0) 2100010 0.00
    Brett Myers (H,1) 1211010 9.00
    Fernando Abad (H,1) 1000010 0.00
    Brandon Lyon (H,1) 1100000 0.00
    Wesley Wright (H,1) 1100000 0.00
    Wilton Lopez (S,1) 1000020 0.00
    Pitches-Strikes - Livan Hernandez 13-12, Kyle Weiland 9-9, Brett Myers 7-7, Fernando Abad 5-5, Brandon Lyon 4-4, Wesley Wright 4-4, Wilton Lopez 7-7
    Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Livan Hernandez 1-2, Kyle Weiland 2-3, Brett Myers 1-1, Brandon Lyon 1-2, Wesley Wright 3-0, Wilton Lopez 1-0
    Batters Faced - Livan Hernandez 8, Kyle Weiland 7, Brett Myers 5, Fernando Abad 3, Brandon Lyon 4, Wesley Wright 4, Wilton Lopez 3
    Game Information
    Attendance - 3582
    Game Time - 2:24
    Temperature - 84
    Umpires - Home - Gary Cederstrom, First Base - Larry Vanover, Second Base - Laz Diaz, Third Base - Paul Nauert