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Updated: March 17, 2018
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
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Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2018 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photo by Henk Seppen)

Ozzie Albies hits two homeruns (from both sides) for Atlanta

BRADENTON / PORT ST. LUCIE / WEST PALM BEACH / LAKELAND / TAMPA, Florida / SURPRISE / TEMPE, Arizona (USA) - On Friday (March 16), seven Dutch players came into action during Major League Spring Training-games played in Florida and Arizona.

Ozzie Albies had a great day, as he hit two homeruns playing for Atlanta Braves. Albies, who is only 21 years old, homered as lefthanded and righthanded hitter! For Albies, these were his first homeruns of Spring Training.

Also playing on Friday were Didi Gregorius, Spencer Kieboom, Jurickson Profar, Jonathan Schoop, Andrelton Simmons and Jiandido Tromp.

(March 16)

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Didi Gregorius hits third homerun in Spring Training. (March 13)
Sharlon Schoop in Spring Training; Italian Gasparini makes debut. (March 12)
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Spencer Kieboom, Chadwick Tromp deliver game-winning hits. (March 1)
Andrelton Simmons plays in first Spring Training-game. (February 28)
Seattle adds Aruban Eugene Helder for Spring Training-game. (February 27)
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At Bradenton, Atlanta Braves played at Pittsburgh Pirates and lost 12-9. Atlanta trailed 7-0 after three innings and 8-2 after six at bats. In the last three innings of the game, Atlanta scored seven more runs, but Pittsburgh staged a 4-run rally in the bottom of the eighth. Pittsburgh also scored four runs in the third inning.

Switch-hitting Ozzie Albies was the lead-off hitter for Atlanta and was 2-for-3. Both basehits were solo-homeruns, one lefthanded and one righthanded.

There were a total of eleven homeruns hit in this game, six by Atlanta, five by Pittsburgh. Besides Albies, catcher Rob Brantly also homered twice for Atlanta.

Albies led off the game with a grounder in the first inning. In the bottom of the at bat, Pittsburgh opened the score when Corey Dickerson delivered a 3-run triple. Pittsburgh added four more runs in the third, including two on a homerun by Josh Bell and a solo-homerun by Elias Diaz.

Righthanded Pittsburgh-starter Jameson Taillon retired the side in the first three innings. With Atlanta trailing 7-0, Albies led off the fourth inning and homered hitting lefthanded to become the first baserunner for the Braves. This was the lone basehit allowed by Taillon, who walked two batters in the fourth, then retired the side again in the fifth.

In the top of the sixth, Pittsburgh was now leading 8-1, Albies led off again, this time hitting righthanded off of new pitcher (and lefthander) Josh Smoker. Albies homered again and with that, he also accounted for the second basehit hit by Atlanta. Later in the at bat, Rio Ruiz added a single, but stranded.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Albies was replaced by Jaff Decker, who took over in rightfield. Centerfielder Danny Santana became the new second baseman.

At Port St. Lucie, Baltimore Orioles visited New York Mets in a game that ended in a 4-4 tie. Baltimore led 2-1 after seven innings, then New York came alongside in the bottom of the eighth. Both teams scored twice in the ninth inning.

Jonathan Schoop started at second base for Baltimore. After hitting three homeruns in the previous four days, he was 0-for-3 today.

Facing starter Jacob deGrom, Schoop struckout in the second inning and lined out in the fourth.

Trailing 1-0, Baltimore scored twice in the top of the sixth off of new pitcher Robert Gsellman. With two outs, Tim Beckham homered and later Manny Machado added a runscoring double. Hereafter,the inning ended when Schoop grounded out.

Schoop was replaced in the botom of the seventh by new third baseman Luis Sardinas, while Erick Salcedo became the new second baseman.

At West Palm Beach, Washington Nationals played at home against a split-squad of St. Louis Cardinals and won 4-2. Washington scored all its runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Spencer Kieboom entered the game as new catcher for Washington.

He got his lone at bat in the eighth inning. With one out, Kieboom singled, but he was then eliminated when next hitter Adrian Sanchez grounded into a double play.

At Lakeland, a split-squad of Philadelphia Phillies played at Detroit Tigers. The team led 6-4 after the seventh inning, but Detroit then came alongside by scoring in the eighth and ninth at bat. The game ended with a 6-6 tie.

In the top of the ninth inning, with one out, Rhys Hoskins walked for Philadelphia. Hereafter, Jiandido Tromp was entered as his pinch-runner. Last Sunday, Tromp made his Spring Training-debut and for today's two split-squad games, he was added again to the main squad of the Phillies.

While next hitter Aaron Altherr struckout, Tromp stole second base, but he then was left behind.

In his first game, Tromp only was used as pinch-runner, but in this game, he also played some defense. In the bottom of the ninth, Tromp remained in the game and became the new centerfielder.

At Tampa, New York Yankees hosted Houston Astros and lost 2-0. Houston scored its runs in the first and fourth inning. New York recorded only two basehits.

Didi Gregorius started as short stop for New York and was 0-for-3.

Gregorius, who was batting fourth in the line-up, grounded out leading off the second inning. He then flied out in the fourth inning and he lined out to centerfield in the seventh at bat.

In the top of the eighth, Gregorius was replaced by Abiatal Avelino, who also took over as short stop.

...Jurickson Profar hitting for the Netherlands...
...during the 2013 World Baseball Classic...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
At Surprise, Texas Rangers played at home against Seattle Mariners and lost 9-7. Both teams frequently scored in the first three innings, resulting in a 6-5 lead for Texas. Seattle then scored three runs in the top of the seventh and added another run in the eighth.

Jurickson Profar started as third baseman for Texas and was 1-for-3, which was a 2-run homerun.

Trailing 1-0, Texas scored twice in the bottom of the first inning, thanks to a homerun by Shin-Soo Choo and a single by Adrian Beltre. The inning ended when Profar flied out.

In the top of the third inning, Seattle broke a 3-3 tie when Daniel Vogelbach hit a 2-run homerun.

In the bottom of the third inning, Texas re-took the lead again. Joey Gallo led off with a single, then scored when Profar homered with one out, making it a 5-5 tie. Hereafter, Drew Robinson also homered to give Texas a 6-5 lead.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Profar flied out in his third at bat in the game.

Profar was replaced in the top of the eighth inning by Michael De Leon, who became the new short stop. Luis Marte moved from second base to take over at third base defensively for Profar.

At Tempe, Los Angeles Angels played at home against Colorado Rockies and suffered a big 18-6 loss Trailing 3-0, Colorado rallied for eight runs in the top of the second inning.

Colorado was very productive off of starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani, who gave up seven basehits and seven earned runs in 1 1/3 inning. The 23-year old Japanese 'two-way' player signed with the Angels on December 8. While playing in the Japanese big league for Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters (2013-2017), Ohtani not only was a successful pitcher, but also was very productive at bat as the designated hitter. In Japan, he threw the fastest pitch ever recorded at 165 kmh (102.5 mph). He won the Japan Series in 2016 and was the Pacific League Most Valuable Player that season. In 2017, Ohtani pitched for Japan during the World Baseball Classic.

So far this Spring Training, Ohtani pitched in two games, including today's. He was used as designated hitter in eight games and batted 2-for-20 (.100), batting in one run.

Andrelton Simmons started as short stop for the Angels and was 1-for-3, scoring one run.

In the bottom of the first inning, Ian Kinsler led off for Los Angeles with a single. With two outs, he scored when Kole Calhoun homered off of starter German Marquez. Hereafter, Simmons doubled and moved to third base on a wild pitch. He then scored when he was awarded home plate when a balk was called.

Simmons grounded out in the third inning and he popped out in the fifth.

In the top of the sixth inning, Simmons was replaced by Jabari Blash, who became the new rightfielder. David Fletcher entered as new short stop.

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