- The Washington Times - Friday, March 25, 2005

ORIOLES 5, NATIONALS 1 (6 innings)

VIERA, Fla.

Baltimore Orioles right-hander Rodrigo Lopez blanked the Washington Nationals over five innings in a rain-shortened game at Space Coast Stadium.

Lopez, the Orioles’ Opening Day starter, retired the first six batters and allowed no runs on five hits. He struck out two and walked one.

The Orioles jumped on Nationals ace Livan Hernandez for two runs in the first inning when Miguel Tejada smacked a solo home run after Melvin Mora’s sacrifice fly.

The Orioles made it 3-0 in the fourth inning after Sammy Sosa led off the inning with a double down the left-field line. Sosa advanced to third on Rafael Palmeiro’s single and scored on Javy Lopez’s sacrifice fly. The Orioles took a 5-0 lead in the sixth when Lopez homered and pinch-hitter Geronimo Gil drove in left fielder David Newhan.

The Nationals scored their only run in the sixth inning on Jose Guillen’s second homer of the spring.

THE BUZZ

Up — Sosa mania

Orioles slugger thrills crowd with towering fly balls during batting practice.

Down — Nats’ bats

For the fourth straight game, Nationals hitters are silent.

Down — Insect attack

Swarms of dragonflies invade press box during rain delay.

Up — Leadoff man

Nationals’ Endy Chavez goes 2-for-3 with two singles.

BY THE NUMBERS

3

Sellouts this month at Space Coast Stadium. Two of those sellouts have come against the Baltimore Orioles.

1:11

Time elapsed during yesterday’s first rain delay.

OVERHEARD

“You go to Africa to get animals, you go to the Dominican [Republic] to get players.”

— Nationals special assistant Jose Rijo

NATIONALS’ SCHEDULE

TODAY: vs. Dodgers in Viera, 7:05 p.m.

TOMORROW: vs. Mets in Port St. Lucie, 1:10 p.m.

MONDAY: vs. Dodgers in Vero Beach, 7:05 p.m.

TUESDAY: vs. Mets in Viera, 7:05 p.m.

WEDNESDAY: vs. Braves in Viera, 1:05 p.m.

THURSDAY: vs. Marlins in Jupiter, 1:05 p.m.

FRIDAY: vs. Devil Rays in Viera, 1:05 p.m.

TODAY’S WEATHER

Washington: Afternoon showers, 50 degrees.

Viera: Isolated thunderstorms, 81 degrees.

Ken Wright

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