- The Washington Times - Monday, March 14, 2005

VIERA, Fla. —Tomo Ohka dominated the Los Angeles Dodgers before the rains came. Picking up where he left off from his last start, Ohka retired all nine batters he faced before the game was canceled in the third inning because of rain with the Nationals leading 5-0.

Ohka threw 29 pitches, and 20 were strikes. In his last outing Thursday against the Cleveland Indians in a split-squad game at Chain of Lakes Park in Winter Haven, Fla., Ohka sat down the first six batters before allowing his only hit. Against the Indians, Ohka pitched three scoreless innings and struck out three. Yesterday, Ohka walked none and struck out two.

Leading 1-0 in the first inning, the Nationals broke open the rain-shortened game in the second inning. With one out, catcher Brian Schneider walked. Second baseman Jamey Carroll advanced Schneider to second base with a single to right. After failing to get a bunt down, Ohka singled to right off Dodgers starter Edwin Jackson to score Schneider. Leadoff man Endy Chavez scored Carroll with a fielder’s choice to shortstop.

After shortstop Cristian Guzman walked, first baseman Nick Johnson drove in Ohka and Guzman with a line-drive double to the right-center field gap to make it 5-0. Johnson was the Nationals’ hitting star, going 2-for-2 with a double, single and two RBI.

The Buzz

Up ” Tomo Ohka

Japanese media (14) outnumber batters Ohka faced (nine).

Down ” Local weather

Forecasters didn’t mention anything about rain in their five-day outlook.

Down ” Grounds crew

This isn’t parasailing. Get that tarp down.

Up ” Dan Smith

Veteran reliever vows to return after being sent to the minors.

By the numbers

2 Wild pitches by Dodgers starter Edwin Jackson in two innings of work. The first allowed Nationals shortstop Cristian Guzman to score the game’s first run.

39 Minutes yesterday’s game lasted before it was called because of rain.

Overheard

“It’s going to be a good story, I look forward to reading about it.”

— Reliever Dan Smith on returning to the majors after getting re-assigned to the minor league camp.

Nationals’ schedule

TODAY: vs. Indians (ss) in Viera, 1:05 p.m., vs. Astros (ss) in Kissimmee, 7:05 p.m.

TOMORROW: vs. Braves in Lake Buena Vista, 7:05 p.m.

THURSDAY: vs. Mets in Viera, 1:05 p.m.

FRIDAY: vs. Mets in Port St. Lucie, 7:10 p.m.

SATURDAY: vs. Indians in Viera, 1:05 p.m.

SUNDAY: vs. Dodgers in Vero Beach, 1:05 p.m.

MONDAY: vs. Marlins in Viera, 1:05 p.m.

TUESDAY: vs. Astros in Kissimmee, 1:05 p.m.

How to get to Space Coast Stadium

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

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

Today’s weather

Washington: Sunny, 48 degrees.

Viera: Mostly cloudy, 79 degrees.

Mark Zuckerman and Ken Wright

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