Astros 6, Nationals 5

Moments after making a costly mistake in right field, Bryce

Harper was ready for his next opportunity.

Harper’s throwing error in the ninth inning sent a split-squad

of Washington Nationals to a 6-5 loss against the Houston Astros on

Thursday night.

Harper, the first overall pick in last year’s draft, missed a

cutoff man after a double by Brian Dopirak. His throw went through

the infield, allowing pinch-runner Jimmy Paredes to come home with

the winning run.

”I threw it right a little bit and we lost the game, but it

happens and we’ll just go on to the next one,” said Harper, who

entered the game in the eighth inning. ”I wasn’t trying to throw

home; I don’t have that good of an arm. It was right down by the

line, and I threw it a little bit right and it got me.”

The 18-year-old Harper stretched a single into a double in his

only at-bat in the eighth inning and made a good running catch in

right-center field. He played catcher during his lone season at the

College of Southern Nevada but was converted into an outfielder by

the Nationals.

Jason Michaels had two more hits for the Astros, including an

RBI double, to bring his spring average to .421, all as a

designated hitter. He expects to play in the outfield soon.

”I’m anxious to get out there,” Michaels said. ”It’s not good

to DH in the National League.”

Michaels’ double was the fourth straight hit in a three-run

third inning. Two of those hits came off left-hander Tom

Gorzelanny, who yielded two earned runs and five hits over 2 1-3

innings in his first start of the spring.

Wandy Rodriguez pitched four innings for Houston, allowing one

run and four hits in the best of his three spring outings. The

lefty struck out four and walked one.