Nationals 9, Bethune-Cookman 6
VIERA, Fla. —
With all the hoopla of Wednesday’s exhibition opener behind them, the Nationals had a little harder time getting themselves up for Bethune-Cookman College.
After three innings, Washington was losing 4-1 to a college team with a 3-13 record and had committed three errors. The Nationals turned things around, though, with a four-run fourth capped by George Arias’ two-run single. Jared Sandberg gave Washington the lead for good with a bloop single in the sixth, scoring J.J. Davis from second.
Starter Esteban Loaiza was done in by some poor defense but allowed just two hits and one earned run in 22/3 innings. Loaiza, projected as the Nationals’ No. 3 starter, threw 51 pitches and struck out three. Reliever Dan Smith, trying to come back from various shoulder injuries, was credited with the win, and Hector Carrasco earned the save.
Manager Frank Robinson gave all eight starting position players from Wednesday’s game the day off.
Down — College opponents
Bethune-Cookman didn’t exactly bring out the fans.
Up — Dan Smith
Gets win in first appearance since 2003.
Up — George Arias
2-for-3, 3 RBI.
Down — Nationals’ defense
Six errors in two games.
BY THE NUMBERS
Tickets sold for yesterday’s game.
Estimated fans actually in attendance.
“Those college players looked pretty small to me, but they can play.”
— Right-hander Esteban Loaiza on facing Bethune-Cookman.
TODAY: Intrasquad game, 11 a.m.
TOMORROW: vs. Orioles in Fort Lauderdale, 1 p.m.
SUNDAY: vs. Astros (ss) in Viera, vs. Mets (ss) in Port St. Lucie, 1 p.m.
MONDAY: vs. Tigers in Lakeland, 1 p.m.
TUESDAY: vs. Cardinals in Jupiter, 1 p.m.
WEDNESDAY: vs. Tigers in Viera, 1 p.m.
THURSDAY: vs. Marlins (ss) in Viera, vs. Indians in Winter Haven, 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.
Washington: Mostly sunny, 45 degrees
Viera: Morning showers, 68 degrees.
— Mark Zuckerman