Gonzalez, Desmond send Nationals over Mets
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VIERA, Fla. (AP) Gio Gonzalez pitched one-hit ball for two innings in his spring training debut, Ian Desmond homered for the second straight day and the Washington Nationals roughed up a New York Mets split squad 11-5 Wednesday.
Gonzalez seemed happy to just be seeing some game action.
"Two bullpens before that, that's tough," he said. "You actually want to see some live hitting. You want to face some guys who are going to go up there swinging."
"Other than that, I felt great. My arm feels right where I want it to be. I feel strong. I feel ready," he said.
Nationals manager Matt Williams said he has been pleased with the way Desmond has been working to drive the ball to the opposite field this spring. His home run went to right-center.
"He's doing what he wants to do," Williams said. "He's up there with an approach, even though it's early (in spring)."
Sandy Leon hit a three-run homer for the Nationals and Brian Goodwin and Matt Skole had two-run shots. Leon and Skole connected during a seven-run eighth inning.
Zach Lutz had two hits for the Mets, including a solo homer. Anthony Seratelli had a two-run single.
Mets: Jenrry Mejia struck out the first two batters he faced and allowed just one hit over two innings in his spring debut. He gave up one unearned run, which was set up by his own throwing error in the second inning.
Mejia, in contention for the No. 5 starting spot, said he was happy with his outing, particularly the fact that he had good command.
"I think everything was there, because I didn't throw a pitch up (in the strike zone)," Mejia said. "Everything was down."
Mets: The team hopes to have first baseman Ike Davis (calves) back for Friday's game against the St. Louis Cardinals. No word yet on when first baseman Lucas Duda (hamstring) or shortstop Ruben Tejada (hamstring) will return from their injuries.
Nationals: Second baseman Zach Walters was a late scratch because of flulike symptoms. Infielder Jeff Kobernus was sent home after his morning workout because of illness.
Nationals reliever Tyler Clippard, who has made an average of 74 appearances over the past four years, made his spring debut. He allowed a leadoff double, then retired the side in order.
Clippard missed five days earlier this spring because of tightness in his back. He has told the Nationals he only needs 10 innings of work this spring to be ready for opening day.
"This year, my arm has probably felt better than it has in a long time (for) this time of year," Clippard said. "Usually, it takes me a little while to get the joints moving again."
Mets star third baseman David Wright will take some swings Thursday at the team's complex and could make his Grapefruit League debut on Friday. He has yet to play this spring as the club tries to manage his time to prevent any nagging injuries.
Updated March 5, 2014