Max Scherzer pitched four shutout innings and Dan Uggla hit his first home run of the spring Sunday in the Washington Nationals’ 3-2 loss to the Houston Astros.
“This is a chance to see where you’re at,” Scherzer said. “I went out there with the mentality of giving them everything I’d give them during the regular season, plus I know these guys a little bit from pitching in the American League.
“I was really focused on the results today rather than just going out and working on things,” Scherzer said.
Making his third start for the Nationals after signing a seven-year, $210 million contract in January, Scherzer gave up one hit and one walk while striking out three. The 2013 AL Cy Young Award winner with Detroit used all of his breaking pitches, some in crucial counts.
“Those are the type of things you need to be able to succeed during the year,” he said.
“If you’re facing a divisional opponent, you don’t want to show them everything you’ve got, especially when you’re facing the Mets and the Marlins and Braves down here in Florida. I don’t want to let them get a free look at it when it doesn’t count.”
Jose Altuve and George Springer drove in runs for Houston in a three-run fifth inning off former closer Heath Bell. Jake Marisnick also drove in a run with a triple.
Houston starter Asher Wojciechowski matched Scherzer for four shutout innings, striking out four while giving up three hits.
Pat Neshek got the win despite giving up Uggla’s home run.
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