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Redding is making most of his chance

- The Washington Times - Monday, July 23, 2007

As the afternoon wore on and it became obvious the Washington Nationals were going to struggle to score against Colorado Rockies starter Josh Fogg, Tim Redding knew what was required of him.

"Every zero he put up, I knew I had to go out there and put up another zero," he said.

Redding did that exquisitely, tossing 62/3 shutout innings and helping pave the way for the Nationals to pull off a 3-0 win at RFK Stadium.

The 29-year-old right-hander enjoyed his best start to date, scattering five hits and two walks.

"He did a tremendous job," manager Manny Acta said.

In the process, Redding extended his surprising four-start run with Washington. Called up from Class AAA Columbus earlier this month as a last-resort fill-in for the injury-plagued starting rotation, he's now pitching like he plans to stay here for a while.

In four starts, Redding is 1-2 with a 2.92 ERA. He has yet to surrender more than three runs in any outing.

So what's changed for a pitcher who posted an 11.42 ERA in spring training and didn't figure to come close to earning a promotion this season.

"Just trusting myself," Redding said. "Right now, my confidence is high. I feel confident in this team to win ballgames."

Young aims to return

Dmitri Young was out of the Nationals' starting lineup for the third straight day, but a bruised left heel shouldn't keep the club's best hitter sidelined any longer.

Young expects to start tomorrow when Washington opens a three-game series in Philadelphia.

"He probably could play today, but I just wanted to give him that extra day," Acta said. "Put it together with a day off [today] and he'll be ready to go [tomorrow]."

Young, who hurt himself running to first base during a game against the Houston Astros earlier in the week, did come up to pinch-hit both Friday and Saturday. He was available to do the same yesterday but never was needed.

Young was not the only Nationals regular out of the lineup yesterday. Acta also sat Brian Schneider, Ryan Church and Ronnie Belliard, which made for an interesting starting nine.

Four reserves with subpar batting averages — D'Angelo Jimenez (.077), Tony Batista (.239), Robert Fick (.209) and Jesus Flores (.241) entering yesterday — all got a chance to start.

With so many regulars on the bench, Washington's entire starting lineup had 31 homers and 164 RBI.

Extra bases

Left-hander Micah Bowie threw 25 pitches off a mound yesterday and reported no problems with his injured left hip, which landed him on the disabled list June 28. Bowie will travel to the Nationals' spring training complex in Viera, Fla., to continue his rehabilitation. ...

Reliever Jesus Colome also left for Viera yesterday to resume his rehab following surgery for an infection on his right buttock. Colome, who hasn't pitched since June 23, threw yesterday and felt strong. He now will start running to build his conditioning back up.