The Nationals and Astros will share a new spring training facility, the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach, Florida. But it looks like there's already a tenant ruling that roost: flocks of birds.
According to The Palm Beach Post, hundreds of birds are flying around the construction project. They're not only perching in the trees around the ballpark, but also on the light posts, batting cages and club house buildings.
The newspaper consulted a wildlife biologist from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, who identified the birds as a type of crow that scavenges for food.
A nearby landfill could be drawing them to the area, or they could be returning to their usual territory.
Before construction began, the land had been covered in vegetation and pine trees. The birds may have been displaced temporarily by the building, but returned once they discovered new places to roost at the ballpark.
Grass seed and fertilizer used at the site could also be attracting them.
Regardless of why the birds have flocked to the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, they probably aren't leaving any time soon.
“Once the baseball stadium opens, with fans eating French fries and food, I’m sure they will be hanging around more,” the wildlife biologist said.
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WASHINGTON -- Gio Gonzalez allowed two hits in six scoreless innings, Howie Kendrick hit two solo home runs and the Washington Nationals snapped the Los Angeles Angels' winning streak at six with a 3-1 victory Tuesday night.
Gonzalez (11-5) struck out four and issued three walks in lowering his home ERA to 1.79, now the best in baseball. The left-hander, who was three outs from a no-hitter July 31 at Miami, allowed his first hit two hits into the fifth against the Angels.
Los Angeles, which had climbed into an AL wild-card spot during its streak, lost for the first time since Aug. 7. Tyler Skaggs (1-3) allowed the two home runs to Kendrick and five other hits while striking out six in five innings.
Kendrick has homered in three of his past four at-bats after hitting a walk-off grand slam in the 11th inning Sunday night against San Francisco.
Playing their third game since Bryce Harper went on the 10-day disabled list with a bone bruise in his left knee, the Nationals got an insurance run in the sixth on a wild pitch by Bud Norris and an error on Angels first baseman Albert Pujols. That provided some extra breathing room when Cliff Pennington hit a home run in the eighth, the first run Brandon Kintzler has allowed since being traded to Washington from Minnesota.
With Ryan Madson's availability in question after dealing with a blister Sunday, the Nationals went with Matt Albers in the seventh, Kintzler in the eighth and Sean Doolittle in the ninth. Doolittle picked up his 12th save of the season and his ninth with Washington.
Howie Kendrick is still new to the Nationals. He doesn't have the same level of frustration with the San Francisco Giants as the rest of his teammates.
But after watching teammate Bryce Harper suffer a freakish knee injury against the Giants on Saturday, the former Angels and Phillies second baseman decided to join the on-again off-again rivalry on Sunday night, finally putting an end to a series that felt like it took forever to finish.
A Pablo Sandoval solo home run off Max Scherzer tied things up in the seventh inning at Nationals Park, and after two scoreless innings, the two teams appeared once again destined to do this forever. After all, the two teams had played earlier in the day, a game that started less than twelve hours after their Saturday night game had ended, a game which was interrupted by a lengthy rain delay.
Daniel Murphy singled off Alberto Suarez to lead off the bottom of the 11th inning. Ryan Zimmerman followed with a single of his own. Anthony Rendon was then intentionally walked, which brought Kendrick to the plate.
Howie Kendrick did not mess around.
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The home run was the 99th of Kendrick's career and his first-ever grand slam.
And like that, the Nationals 6-2 victory finally put their series with the Giants to rest, after 29 innings in just over 24 hours.