03/27/10 4:37 PM ET
Castillo flashes rare power in loss
Second baseman hits three-run homer vs. Nationals
By Marty Noble / MLB.com
at Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Saturday, March 27
Nationals at the plate: Chris Duncan's double inside the third-base line in the eighth inning against Ryota Igarashi drove in the Nationals' fifth run, tying the game at 5. Duncan's two-bagger was Washington's sixth double of the game. In the 10th, Alberto Gonzalez untied the contest with a two-run homer over the left-field wall against reliever Kiko Calero.
Mets at the plate: The devil had slipped on a sweater and mittens. Luis Castillo has hit another home run. Yes, the Mets second baseman, who has hit 28 home runs in the big leagues -- 25 batting right-handed -- hit a three-run home run in the seventh to produce a brief 5-4 lead. David Wright had two run-producing hits among his three knocks. He, Alex Cora and Omir Santos had doubles.
Nationals on the mound: Craig Stammen allowed five hits and two runs in five innings. Left-hander Sean Burnett allowed Castillo's home run in the seventh.
Mets on the mound: Making his first appearance as a starter -- he had pitched 8 1/3 innings in three relief appearances -- Hisanori Takahashi allowed runs for the first time. The Nationals scored once in the second and three times in the third after two outs. Takahashi surrendered four hits, all doubles, and walked one batter. Francisco Rodriguez pitched the fourth and fifth innings, allowing two hits and striking out three, all in the fifth. The two-inning outing, designed to stretch out his arm, will not be repeated in exhibition games. Sean Green didn't enhance his chance of winning a job in the bullpen when he allowed two hits in the fifth, but he didn't allow a run for the fourth time in five appearances.
Worthy noting: The teams that allowed the most -- Nationals -- and second-most walks -- Mets -- in the National League last season gave up five walks on Saturday. ... Mike Jacobs lost two home runs to the wind.
Grapefruit League records: Nationals 7-17, Mets 12-11.
Up next: The Nationals play the Braves at home in Viera, Fla., beginning at 1:05 p.m. ET on Sunday. Scott Olsen is to start for the Nationals opposite Tommy Hanson.
The Mets will play the second of six consecutive home games when they engage the Cardinals in Port St. Lucie, Fla., on Sunday, beginning at 1:10 p.m. on MLB.TV. Mike Pelfrey is to make his fifth exhibition-game start. St. Louis' starter is to be Kyle Lohse.
Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.