Doug Fister allowed just one (unearned) run over 7 1/3 innings and Adam LaRoche launched a pair of home runs as the Nationals bested the visiting Mets 7-1 on Wednesday night in Washington, D.C.
Even the slumping Bryce Harper got in on the act with a fourth-inning single, a sixth-inning walk, and a run scored. That after finishing 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in a 6-1 loss to New York on Tuesday.
With the Braves falling Wednesday afternoon to the Mariners — the eighth straight loss for Atlanta — the Nats are now four games up in the NL East.
Fister missed the first month of the season with a lat strain, but he’s now suddenly an ace …
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.