User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto Racing
Horses
More
Betting Tools

 
Soriano shines in debut with Nationals

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

VIERA, Fla. (AP) - The Washington Nationals finally got a look at their new closer on Tuesday.

Advertisement
They liked what they saw.

Rafael Soriano, who signed a two-year, $28 million contract with Washington in January, gave up a hit in a scoreless inning in his spring training debut during a 7-1 victory over the Houston Astros.

``He was getting his work in, but he made some good pitches,'' Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki said. ``(He threw) a 3-2 breaking ball (to Houston's Robbie Grossman) for a strikeout to end the inning. He looked good.''

Soriano, who arrived late to camp because of visa issues, is scheduled to make eight appearances this spring, including one set of back-to-back outings.

``He's a character to say the least,'' Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. ``He was a little frustrated that we had all those (scoring) rallies. He was ready to go. He said he was down there throwing some knuckleballs to kill some time.''

Once on the mound, Soriano's day lasted 12 pitches, in he seventh inning. He got Houston's Justin Maxwell out on a long fly to center field, then gave up a single to J.D. Martinez. After Suzuki threw out pinch-runner Brandon Barnes trying to steal second, he struck out Grossman to end the inning.

The right-hander is essentially on his own throwing program this spring, but that's just fine with Johnson.

``He knows exactly what he wants to do to get ready for the season,'' the manager said. ``He's fine.''

Houston manager Bo Porter said the Astros didn't play the cleanest game with three errors, but raved about starting pitcher Lucas Harrell. The right-hander pitched four innings, allowing one run on three hits while striking out four.

``Lucas Harrell did a great job,'' Porter said. ``Four strong innings, and even when he got in trouble, he was able to make pitches and get out of it. He had great pace. He was down in the zone. He knew exactly what he wanted to do.''

Second baseman Jose Altuve had two of the Astros' four hits and also drove in a run.

Porter, who spent the previous two seasons as the Nationals third base coach was managing his first game against his former club. He got an enthusiastic hug from Washington principal owner Mark Lerner and was also greeted by Johnson and players like Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche.

Johnson told reporters Porter is the ``perfect man for the job'' in Houston because he is fundamentally sound and has a great eye for talent.

Porter, meanwhile, was happy to see some of his old friends.

``It's good to be back, good to see a lot of these guys,'' he said. ``They've got a good thing going on. It's a good ballclub. They've got a chance to do something special.''

Washington broke the game open Tuesday with a five-run sixth inning.

Second baseman Danny Espinosa had two hits and two RBIs. Third baseman Chad Tracy also drove in two runs.

Nationals starter Dan Haren threw mostly fastballs and cutters for the second straight outing. He retired six consecutive batters before running into trouble in the third when he gave up a run on two hits and a walk.

``In spring training, if you do good, you feel great (and) if you do bad, you're just working on stuff,'' Haren said. ``. I was just working on things in the third inning.''

NOTES: Zimmerman threw across the diamond for the first time this spring prior to Tuesday's game. ``Everything went good,'' said Zimmerman, who is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. ``I've got about another week of that to build the strength up and kind of go from there. It's still a little weak, but there's no pain. It's just a matter of going through the throwing program and getting stronger.'' . The Nationals optioned LHP Matt Purke to Double-A Hagerstown. . RHP Henry Rodriguez threw batting practice and is expected to pitch in a game soon, though he will likely only face one batter in his first outing . RHP Tyler Clippard has been working on his curveball this spring and threw a number of them Tuesday in his second spring outing . Perhaps it was just a coincidence, but as the stadium's public address announcer was introducing the Astros' lineup, the song, ``Who Are You'' by ``The Who'' was playing over the loudspeakers . Play was stopped momentarily in the bottom of the second inning when a large, green umbrella was blown from the Nationals bullpen into right field and had to be retrieved .. The Astros have a day off, but RHP Bud Norris will throw 60-65 pitches in a simulated game at the team's minor league complex. It is Norris' regular day to pitch and Porter said it was too early in spring to be skipping starts. . RHP Hector Ambriz made his spring debut and allowed one run on two hits in one inning. Ambriz had been recovering from a sprained left ankle. Ambriz was hit in that same ankle on a ball hit by Suzuki, but stayed in the game and reported no problems.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Lawrence: September Pitchers Report
Kershaw wins 19th, Dodgers beat Giants
Nationals shutout Mets, 3-0
Rangers sweep Braves with 10-3 win
Cards top Rockies for 3rd win in row
Tigers complete sweep of Indians
Twins beat White Sox 6-4 behind May
Harrison leads Pirates over Cubs 7-3
Marlins rally past Phillies, avoid sweep
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
MLB Pro Baseball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
MLB Hot Streaks
11-3 L6 Days, 19-5 +1,344 Streak
7-2 +750 Run, +4,581 This Year
21-10 Last 4 Days, +8,633 TY
+4,650 Overall This Year
7-3 L10, 10-4 +725 L14 Guarantees
5-2 L7, 14-6 L20 Guarantees
+3,254 Overall This Year
29-14 L43 MLB Selections
5-2 +364 L7, 26-14 +1,506 Run
4-1 L3 Days, 32-16 L48 G-Plays
7-3, +373 Last 10 Picks
6-1 L7, 28-10 L38 Guarantees
11-5, +753 Last 16 Plays
3-1 Y'day, 4-1 +324 L5 G-Plays
4 Straight Wins, 9-3 L12 Picks
MLB Pro Baseball Expert Sports Picks - MLB Playoffs
2014 MLB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 8633
Kevin Rogers + 4650
Doc's Sports + 4581
Underdog Leaders
Handicapper Money
James Manos + 2792
Kevin Rogers + 2567
Dave Cokin + 2395
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 2626
Tony Stoffo + 1503
Joe Williams + 718
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Doc's Sports + 2608
Dave Cokin + 1931
Kyle Hunter + 1790
Favorite Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 2543
Kevin Rogers + 2198
Doc's Sports + 1258
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Mike Rose + 3151
Kevin Rogers + 2684
Doc's Sports + 1795
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Daily Fantasy NFL Perfect Lineup Contest