Fister's 2-run single helps Nationals beat Yankees 7-6

VIERA, Fla. (AP) Doug Fister was pleased with his performance at the plate. His focus was on his pitching, which isn't quite up to regular-season level just yet.

Fister hit a two-run single off Chasen Shreve, and the Washington Nationals rallied to beat the New York Yankees 7-6 Monday.

''I wouldn't call it a big hit, but it got the runs in,'' Fister said.

Fister allowed four runs and seven hits in 4 1-3 innings, struck out four and walked none.

''We've got a couple weeks left here in spring, I've got my work cut out for me,'' he said. ''It's nothing to be alarmed about, I believe. Giving up a couple of home runs, it's not what I normally do. I definitely left some pitches over the plate. Those guys are good hitters. That's something I need to focus on and be a little better at. I was trying to get the ball down today. It kind of got away from me and stayed up a little bit.''

Chris Young homered twice for the Yankees, off Fister and against Casey Janssen, and drove in three runs. Brian McCann hit a two-run home run off Fister.

''CY put a couple of good swings on some baseballs,'' Nationals manager Matt Williams said.

Yunel Escobar made his spring training debut and went 1 for 2. He made a diving play for a ball in the infield and showed no signs of the strained left oblique that had kept him out of Washington's previous 17 games.

STARTING TIME

Yankees: Bryan Mitchell gave up two runs and four hits in 3 1-3 innings, his first big league exhibition start since March 6. ''I feel like I've put a lot of good work in,'' Mitchell said. ''I feel like the results haven't quite shown as well, but I feel like it's just a matter of time before things start clicking again.''

ROSTER MOVES:

Washington released former All-Star closer Heath Bell, who was in camp with a minor league contract and went 0-1 with a 5.68 ERA in seven appearances. He allowed five runs - four earned - and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings. The Nationals optioned RHP Taylor Jordan to Triple-A Syracuse and reassigned RHP Evan Meek and INF Matt Skole to their minor league camp.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (twisted ankle) is to throw a bullpen on Wednesday before returning to his regular spot in the rotation. That would mean his next start would be Saturday against the New York Mets. ... LF Jayson Werth (shoulder surgery) was tired after playing five innings on defense in a minor league game Sunday. Werth had to make several throws and reported no issues. .. 3B Anthony Rendon (sprained knee ligament) is still experiencing pain in his left knee and his status for opening day is unclear. ''You do, at some point, run out of time,'' Williams said.

Yankees: Manager Joe Girardi said outfield prospect Jose Pirela was feeling better, a day after he sustained a concussion crashing to the center field wall and was hospitalized. ''He's sore,'' Girarsi said. ''I would be sore, too. He'll go back and see our doctors and, obviously, he'll have to do some of those impact tests.'' ... CF Jacoby Ellsbury (oblique) hasn't resumed on-field work but still expects to be ready for opening day April 6 against Toronto. ''I still feel good about that timetable,'' he said. ... RHP Ivan Nova (elbow ligament surgery) could throw batting practice next week and appears to be on target to return by June. ... RF Carlos Beltran (elbow surgery) and DH Alex Rodriguez had their minor league game postponed due to rain.

UP NEXT

Nationals: Washington is off Tuesday.

Yankees: RHP Esmil Rogers is to start Tuesday in Tampa against Detroit, which sends RHP Anibal Sanchez to the mound.

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