The Washington Times - July 13, 2009, 01:51AM

The Nationals have fired manager Manny Acta.

Acta confirmed by email he was informed of his fate Sunday night, after his team lost 5-0 to the Astros in Houston to close out the first half of the season with a 26-61 record.


There was no immediate word who would succeed the 40-year-old as manager. Bench coach Jim Riggleman, widely considered the most likely replacement on a temporary basis, has experience managing the Padres (1992-94) and Cubs (1995-99) and last year served as the Mariners’ interim manager after John McLaren was fired in mid-season.

“I thank the Nationals for giving me this opportunity and I’m sorry that things didn’t work out as expected,” Acta told, which first reported the news. “It’s normal for the manager to pay the price when the team is not doing well.”

Acta’s tenure comes to an end after 2 1/2 seasons with a 158-252 overall record. He originally signed a two-year contract in 2007 with two separate club options. The Nationals picked up his first option at the end of the 2007 season but had not done the same with the second option, essentially making him a lame duck this year.