Harper, Heyward homer in Nats’ win
KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Bryce Harper homered for Washington, Jason Heyward went deep for Atlanta, and the Nationals knocked off the Braves in a spring training game Friday.
Harper hit his first homer of the spring in the top of the first. He finished 1 for 3, leaving his exhibition average at .538 (7 of 13).
Heyward hit his third spring homer in the bottom half. He also got down a bunt in the fifth, setting up B.J. Upton’s two-run double.
Julio Teheran struck out five in three innings, strengthening his bid for a spot in the Atlanta rotation. Washington’s Jordan Zimmermann surrendered five hits and two runs in three innings.
The Nationals wiped out a 4-1 deficit with a five-run eighth against loser Cory Rasmus. Carlos Rivera had a three-run double.
Mark Prior is making yet another pitch to return to the big leagues. The 32-year-old Prior signed a minor league contract with the Cincinnati Reds, marking the fourth straight spring the oft-injured righty has tried a comeback.
Prior has not been in the majors since 2006. He pitched for Boston in Triple-A last season, making 19 relief appearances with a 3.96 ERA.
Texas right fielder Nelson Cruz was cleared of more serious issues after team doctors diagnosed a muscle strain in his chest. Assistant general manager Thad Levine said Cruz was sent to a hospital to rule out anything else. The Rangers later said in a statement that several tests were negative and Cruz was released.