PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) Curtis Granderson and David Wright hit consecutive home runs off Stephen Strasburg in the bottom of the third inning, leading the Mets to a 10-2 win over the Washington Nationals on Saturday.
Strasburg, making his first start since March 17 and only his third Grapefruit League start because of toe and ankle injuries, allowed four runs on four hits in four innings.
”It was good to get the pitch count up there,” said Strasburg, who threw 70 pitches. ”Obviously I was cruising early and then one bad inning, but I got the pitches. I’m sure I’ll feel a lot better next time.”
Strasburg, who is slotted as the Nationals’ third starter in the rotation this season, struck out two and walked two. He said his turned ankle, which caused him to skip his last start, was not much of an issue Saturday.
”It’s kind of like a trust factor,” he said. ”If you sprain your ankle real bad, you’re bracing for it. It’s hard to get over that. But I didn’t really feel anything alarming, so I think it’s progress. I just have to keep going out there and I’m sure it will be an afterthought soon,” he said.
Mets starter Jacob deGrom gave up one run – a long home run to right field by Bryce Harper in the top of the sixth inning. DeGrom allowed four hits in seven innings, struck out four and walked two.
Lucas Duda had a home run and triple for the Mets, and Johnny Monell also connected.
DeGrom’s seven innings were the most by a Mets starter this spring. The NL Rookie of the Year threw 81 pitches during his outing.
”I felt good,” deGrom said. ”That’s the most stretched out I’ve been all spring, and I felt really good out there today.
”I struggled a little bit. I don’t know if I lost concentration or something with those two four-pitch walks. That’s the main thing today, but the spring has been going pretty smooth.”
”I’m still trying to work on things. I was getting under my changeup today. And that’s what I fell behind Bryce with before he hit the home run,” he said.
Nationals: Manager Matt Williams said first baseman Ryan Zimmerman (shoulder, back) is ”feeling fine” and should return to the lineup in the next few days. Zimmerman was injured Friday diving for a ball and left the game early.
Mets: Reliever Vic Black (shoulder) threw 20 pitches off a mound. He has not pitched in a game since March 9. … Closer Bobby Parnell (rehabbing from Tommy John surgery) is scheduled to throw in a minor league game Sunday. … All-Star 2B Daniel Murphy (hamstring) had five at-bats in a minor league game Saturday. Manager Terry Collins said Murphy will not play in any more Grapefruit League games this spring, but will play in minor league games.
The Mets have hit 35 home runs in 26 games this spring, the most of any Grapefruit League team. Michael Cuddyer leads the team with five homers, Wright has four and Granderson has three.
Collins said not to read too much into those numbers, though.
”The wind’s blowing, the weather’s been warm and the ball carries,” Collins said. ”We’ve got some power – I’m not saying we don’t have any power – but you have to be careful because we aren’t playing at Citi Field. Especially in April when the wind’s blowing in and it’s cold, but we’ve got some power.”