Nats' Harper homers in 1st spring at-bat

CaptionCloseWelcome to spring training, Bryce Harper. The swing looks pretty good.Harper hit a long solo homer and a single, helping the Washington Nationals to an 8-6 victory over the New York Mets on Saturday at Port St. Lucie, Fla.Andrew Stevenson and...

Nats' Harper homers in 1st spring at-bat

CaptionCloseWelcome to spring training, Bryce Harper. The swing looks pretty good.Harper hit a long solo homer and a single, helping the Washington Nationals to an 8-6 victory over the New York Mets on Saturday at Port St. Lucie, Fla.Andrew Stevenson and...

25 February 2017 Saturday 22:58
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Nats' Harper homers in 1st spring at-bat

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Welcome to spring training, Bryce Harper. The swing looks pretty good.

Harper hit a long solo homer and a single, helping the Washington Nationals to an 8-6 victory over the New York Mets on Saturday at Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Andrew Stevenson and Matt Skole also connected for Washington, and Gio Gonzalez struck out one in a scoreless first inning. Joe Nathan, bidding to fill the Nationals' closer spot, gave up one hit in a scoreless third inning.

Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki injured his left leg in a collision at the plate with Washington prospect Rafael Bautista and had to be helped off the field. New York's Gavin Cecchini went 1-for-1 with two walks and scored twice.

Harper led off the second inning with a drive to right-center against Sean Gilmartin in his first at-bat of spring training, then singled in the fourth.

The 24-year-old Harper won the NL MVP award in 2015, when he hit .330 with 42 homers and 99 RBIs in 153 games. He hopes to rebound after slumping to a .243 batting average, 24 homers and 86 RBIs last year.

Mets first baseman Lucas Duda sat out with stiffness in his hips.

Ventura remembered

Late Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was remembered before Kansas City's spring training opener against Texas in Surprise, Ariz.

With teams lined up on the foul lines, the Rangers' Carlos Gomez and Adrian Beltre placed flowers on the mound. After highlights of Ventura's career were shown on the videoboard, Royals manager Ned Yost was given a plaque honoring the pitcher, who died Jan. 22 in a car accident in the Dominican Republic.

Bourn setback

Michael Bourn had a major setback in his attempt to make the Baltimore Orioles, breaking a finger while playing catch with a football during a team workout.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Saturday that Bourn will miss about four weeks. The 34-year-old outfielder injured his right ring finger Friday.

Bourn spent the final month of the 2016 season with Baltimore. If added to the 40-man roster, he would get a $2 million, one-year contract.

Grapefruit League

Phillies 6, Yankees 5: At Clearwater, Fla., Maikel Franco connected twice for Philadelphia, including an inside-the-park homer. Adam Morgan pitched two scoreless innings, and Brock Stassi hit a game-ending single. Yankees starter Adam Warren pitched two perfect innings with two strikeouts, and Chris Carter, the NL home run co-leader last season, went 1-for-3.

Red Sox 8, Twins 7: At Fort Myers, Fla., Hanley Ramirez and Chris Young each hit an RBI double for Boston, and Mookie Betts went 2-for-3 and scored two runs. Byungho Park and Drew Stubbs homered for Minnesota. Former Yankees pitcher Phil Hughes allowed two runs and four hits in two innings.

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