- The Washington Times - Friday, March 11, 2005

Seen and Heard

Marlins 5, Nationals (ss) 3

Indians 3, Nationals (ss) 1

VIERA, Fla. — Pitchers are usually ahead of hitters this time of spring, and that certainly seems to be the case with Washington.

Despite quality pitching performances from Livan Hernandez (five innings, one earned run) against Florida and Tomo Ohka (three innings, one hit) against Cleveland, the Nationals failed to put up much offense and lost both of yesterday’s split-squad games.

A lineup including all of Frank Robinson’s projected Opening Day starters but center fielder Endy Chavez was stymied by Marlins lefty Dontrelle Willis in Viera. Willis gave up two hits, both to Cristian Guzman, and struck out two in four innings to earn the win.

Nationals reliever Joey Eischen struggled, giving up two runs and three hits in one-third of an inning, but righty Gary Majewski rebounded from a couple bad outings to toss a scoreless ninth.

In the other game, Cleveland Indians designated hitter Aaron Boone belted a game-winning, eighth-inning two-run homer off Nationals reliever Dan Smith with the Nationals leading 1-0 in the eighth. Smith was the fifth Nationals pitcher after Ohka, Jon Rauch, Chad Cordero and Joe Horgan shut out the Indians.

The Nationals took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when second baseman Jamey Carroll doubled inside third base. Cleanup hitter J.J. Davis drove in Carroll with a double to left off Indians starter Cliff Lee.

The Buzz

Up — Nats starting pitchers

Livan, Ohka, Patterson all put in solid outings.

Down — Rock-solid defense?

Castilla, Guzman botch routine grounders.

Up — Dontrelle Willis

D-Train brought his A-game to Viera.

Up ” Rapid Robert

Bob Feller, 86, throws ceremonial first pitch in Winter Haven, Fla.

By the Numbers

8-6-2-5

Double play turned by the Nationals yesterday (center fielder Ryan Church to shortstop Christian Guzman to catcher Brian Schneider to third baseman Vinny Castilla).

5

Innings thrown yesterday by Livan Hernandez, most by a Nationals starter this spring.

Overheard

“He’s getting there. He’ll get sharper as he goes.”

— Manager Frank Robinson on ace Livan Hernandez.

Nationals’ Schedule

TODAY: vs. Cardinals in Viera, 1 p.m.

TOMORROW: vs. Marlins in Jupiter, 1 p.m.

SUNDAY: vs. Orioles in Viera, 1 p.m.

MONDAY: vs. Dodgers in Viera, 1 p.m.

TUESDAY: vs. Indians (ss) in Viera, 1 p.m., vs. Astros (ss) in Kissimmee, 7 p.m.

WEDNESDAY: vs. Braves in Lake Buena Vista, 7 p.m.

THURSDAY: vs. Mets in Viera, 1 p.m.

HOW TO GET TO SPACE COAST STADIUM

From Orlando/North: Take Rte. 528 East (Bee Line Expressway) 25 miles to I-95 South. Exit I-95 South at Fiske Blvd. (Exit 195). Proceed south on Fiske Blvd./Stadium Parkway to the stadium. Approx. time: 45 minutes.

From Melbourne/South: Take I-95 North to Wickham Rd. (Exit 191) and turn left. Turn right on Lake Andrew Dr. and follow to the stadium. Approx. time: 20 minutes.

Today’s Weather

Washington: Rain and snow showers, 50 degrees

Viera: Mostly sunny, 73 degrees.

” Mark Zuckerman and Ken Wright

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