WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Jayson Werth, Anthony Rendon and Bryce Harper each slugged homers to lead the Nationals to a 13-1 wipeout of the Astros on Thursday afternoon at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.Werth capped a four-run rally in the first inning with a three-run homer off starter
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Jayson Werth, Anthony Rendon and Bryce Harper each slugged homers to lead the Nationals to a 13-1 wipeout of the Astros on Thursday afternoon at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.
Werth capped a four-run rally in the first inning with a three-run homer off starter Brad Peacock, and Rendon (2-for-3) added a homer in the third inning off Peacock to push the lead to 5-0. Harper hit a two-run home run in the sixth off Cy Sneed to make it 8-0. Harper is now 4-for-9 with two home runs, four RBIs and a pair of walks this spring.
The Nationals hit Peacock hard in the first inning, capped by Werth's blast off the left-field foul pole for his first homer of the spring. Peacock worked three innings and was tagged for five hits -- including the two homers -- three walks and five runs in his second start of the spring.
Washington starter Kyle McGowin allowed three hits in two scoreless innings. Astros center fielder George Springer led off the first with a double and Alex Bregman followed with a single, but McGowin sent down six of the final seven batters he faced. Springer went 3-for-3 and made a spectacular diving catch in the outfield in the third.
Three key Nationals relievers, all of whom could be in contention for the closer's role, also made their Grapefruit League debuts in Shawn Kelley, Blake Treinen and Sammy Solis. Each pitcher tossed a scoreless inning while Kelley and Treinen each struck out a pair of batters.
"It's what you want. You want them to be sharp and find that strike zone right away," Nats manager Dusty Baker said.
Tyler White spoiled the shutout with his first spring homer in the bottom of the ninth.
Nationals:Stephen Strasburg makes his Grapefruit League debut when the Nationals host the Cardinals at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches on Friday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. ET. The Nats had the luxury of delaying Strasburg's debut a bit this spring with the extra week of Spring Training this year. Washington is also in split-squad action on Friday with right-hander A.J. Cole getting his second start of the spring in Jupiter against the Marlins (1:05 p.m. ET on Gameday Audio).
Astros: Veteran right-hander Charlie Morton will make his Grapefruit League debut Friday when the Astros travel to Port St. Lucie at 12:10 p.m. CT to meet the Mets, live on MLB.TV. The Astros signed Morton to a two-year, $14 million deal late last year. He was limited to four games last season before injuring his hamstring running the bases for the Phillies.
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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.