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Soriano shines in debut with Nationals


March 05. 2013 11:33PM


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VIERA, Fla. — Rafael Soriano threw a scoreless inning of relief in his debut with Washington and the Nationals beat the Houston Astros 7-1 Tuesday.


Soriano signed a two-year, $28 million contract in January to become the Nationals new closer. The right-hander faced three batters in the seventh and struck out one.


Houston’s J.D. Martinez reached base against Soriano, but pinch-runner Brandon Barnes was thrown out trying to steal.


Danny Espinosa had two hits and two RBIs for Washington. Chad Tracy also drove in two runs.


Dan Haren gave up a run in three innings in his second spring start.


Orioles 6, Blue Jays 6


DUNEDIN, Fla. — Steve Pearce hit two home runs, Conor Jackson and Luis Exposito each homered as the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays played to a 10-inning tie.


Jackson, who had three hits, Pearce and Exposito homered in a four-run sixth inning off Toronto reliever Esmil Rogers. The home runs by Jackson and Pearce were back-to-back.


The Orioles also homered four times on Sunday against Philadelphia.


Rays 7, Twins 5


FORT MYERS — Liam Hendriks worked out of a jam after left-fielder Josh Willingham lost a fly ball in the sun, but the Minnesota Twins still lost to the Tampa Bay Rays.


Hendriks, trying to win a spot in Minnesota’s rotation, allowed two runs and four hits in three innings. He pitched three innings, giving up two runs off four hits while striking out three.


Indians 4, Giants 3


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Nick Swisher hit one of three Cleveland home runs, Daisuke Matuzaka pitched three scoreless innings and the Cleveland Indians beat the San Francisco Giants.


Brandon Crawford hit a two-run homer for the Giants, who lost their second straight. Brandon Belt also hit a homered.


Swisher hit his second home run of the spring and is now hitting .500.


Angels 6, Reds 4


TEMPE, Ariz. — Albert Pujols hit a pair of groundouts and struck out in his first spring training appearance of the year for the Los Angeles Angels, a win over the Cincinnati Reds.


The three-time MVP, recovering from offseason surgery on his right knee, hit a broken-bat grounder to third in the first against Mike Leake, struck out swinging in the fourth versus Aroldis Chapman and grounded to shortstop in the sixth against Wilkin De La Rosa.


Royals 8, Athletics 2


SURPRISE, Ariz. — Bruce Chen and Luke Hochevar combined to allow one run in six innings, and the Kansas City Royals remained undefeated for spring training with a victory over the Oakland Athletics.


Oakland’s Bartolo Colon, gave up five runs and seven hits in two innings. The 39-year-old right-hander has allowed eight runs — six earned — on 12 hits in four innings in losing his first two starts.


Dodgers 7, Padres 3


PEORIA, Ariz. — Clayton Kershaw gave up four runs and seven hits in three-plus innings, his third straight sub-par outing of the spring, and the Los Angeles Dodgers lost to the San Diego Padres.


Kershaw has given up nine runs on 17 hits in eight innings.


Dodgers reliever Shawn Tolleson appeared to injure his right leg in the eighth inning and was immediately removed from the game. He was 3-1 with a 4.30 ERA in 37 2-3 innings last year.


Rockies 6, Cubs 3


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Todd Helton got his first hit of spring training and Jeff Francis pitched four scoreless innings to carry the Colorado Rockies to a victory over the Cubs, snapping a three-game losing streak.


Helton, a .320 hitter who was limited to 69 games and hit a career-low .238 while struggling with hip problems last season, gave Colorado a-1-0 lead in the first with an opposite-field ground-rule double.




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