Bill Ladson

Escobar notches hit, flashes leather in spring debut

Escobar notches hit, flashes leather in spring debut

VIERA, Fla. -- Yunel Escobar played his first game of the spring on Monday, and the second baseman showed that he is over his Grade 1 oblique strain in the Nationals' 7-6 victory over the Yankees.

Escobar, who batted leadoff, went 1-for-2 with an infield single in the first inning and made a great diving play in the third inning. Brett Gardner hit a ground ball to Escobar, who dove to his right to throw out Gardner, but Rob Refsnyder scored on the play.

Escobar snags sharp grounder

Escobar also made an error in the second inning. With one out, shortstop Ian Desmond made a great defensive stop off the bat of Brendan Ryan. Desmond was able to get John Ryan Murphy at second, but Escobar threw the ball away for an error. It didn't help that the ball was wet because of the rain.

"No issues today, swinging hard and often, which is good," manager Matt Williams said of Escobar. "He came out of it just fine -- no issues [with the diving play]. It's a really good sign that he is really feeling good about it."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.