The Washington Times - May 18, 2008, 08:13PM

\ John Lannan was as efficient as he’s been all season. The left-hander threw 71 of his 105 pitches for strikes, establishing a two-seam fastball early and throwing a curveball and slider early in counts as the game went on. He threw a few changeups, but said it was cutting on him. That made it a little too much like a slider to throw effectively, but that was about the only thing Lannan did wrong today.\

\ He went 7 1/3 innings, allowing one run on four hits and one walk while striking out five.\


\ “He threw 70 percent of his pitches for strikes,” manager Manny Acta said. “That’s Greg Maddux-like on his good days.”\

\ Other things to note: Austin Kearns has a sore right elbow that he sustained while swinging in batting practice yesterday. He said it didn’t bother him during Saturday’s game (where he went 0-for-3 and struck out to end the eighth inning with the bases loaded), and could play tonight against the Phillies. He’s officially day-to-day.\ During the second rain delay, which lasted 27 minutes in the eighth inning and started just as Luis Ayala came in to relieve Lannan, the right-hander used the extra time to watch film of Brian Roberts and Melvin Mora. He got both out on fly balls to end the eighth (Roberts’ sacrifice fly scored Adam Jones) and preserve the lead.\

\ “For a half-hour, he didn’t move” from the computer, Lannan said.\

\ The Nationals start a three-game series with the Phillies back at home tomorrow night. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m., with Tim Redding facing Brett Myers. See you then.