Monday, March 23, 2015

Recap: Nationals 7, Yankees 6

Bryan Mitchell labored through 3 1/3 innings and Chris Young connected on a pair of big home runs Monday as the Yankees fell to the Nationals, 7-6, in a back-and-forth contest in Viera.

Mitchell's Rough Day: Mitchell surrendered just two earned over his 10-out performance, but still otherwise struggled in his second start of the spring. He gave up four hits and three walks while striking out two -- escaping a few jams early thanks to a groundball double-play from Nationals pitcher Doug Fister and a caught stealing of Bryce Harper.

September Young Returns: With the Yankees trailing 4-3 in the top of the fifth, Young crushed a solo shot off Fister -- a no-doubter to left the Nationals' outfield could only watch. He then hit a two-run bomb off former Blue Jays closer Casey Janssen in the sixth -- another liner to left Young was able to keep fair.

Early Offense: Following a Rob Refsnyder double in the third, the Yankees began to put the barrel to the ball against Fister -- plating three to open the scoring on a sharp groundout from Brett Gardner and a two-run blast from Brian McCann. McCann's four-bagger, his second in the last week, came on a high fly ball to right that just kept carrying -- eventually clearing the wall after a long run back by Harper.

Things Fall Apart: The Yankees maintained that 3-0 advantage until the bottom of the fourth, when Mitchell was removed with two on and one out. The Nationals rallied for four with hits off Yanks relievers Chasen Shreve and Jose Ramirez in the frame, with a rare single by Fister accounting for their first two runs.

Things Fall Apart Again: The Yankees were up 6-4 later on when Kyle Davies took the mound for Washington's half of the seventh, quickly walking Ian Desmond and allowing a single to Harper to put runners on the corners. A subsequent missed catch error on a pickoff attempt by Francisco Arcia also hurt the Yankees notably, and from there two doubles by Ryan Zimmerman and Jose Lobaton were all the Nationals needed to grab the lead.

Next Up: The Yankees will look to get back to their winning ways Tuesday night when they host the Tigers in a 7:05 p.m. matchup in Tampa -- a game in which Esmil Rogers is expected to start for the Pinstripes. It will likely be Rogers' last outing before he find outs whether he will be in the Yankees' rotation this year -- manager Joe Girardi having said Monday he would prefer to make a decision by the end of the week.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)