- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 5, 2005

Nationals 9, Orioles 6

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Three games into their first exhibition season, the Nationals have yet to lose.

They tried their best yesterday against the Orioles, blowing a 4-2 lead in the eighth inning when second baseman Rick Short lost a high-hopper in the sun. Two runs scored on the bizarre play, helping give Baltimore a 5-4 lead.

Washington immediately struck back against Orioles closer B.J. Ryan. Gary Bennett’s one-out single scored Jared Sandberg from second. Three batters later, 19-year-old Ian Desmond raked a bases-loaded triple down the third-base line to put the Nationals back on top for good.

Desmond also wowed the crowd earlier in the game when he threw out speedster Brian Roberts at the plate.

“He’s impressed all of us,” Nationals outfielder Terrmel Sledge said of the young shortstop. “He’s got tools. He’s ahead of his class.”

The Buzz

Up — D.C. vs. Baltimore

A rivalry is born. Now if we can just get them to play us in the regular season.

Up — Home run power

Sledge, Wilkerson go back-to-back.

Down — Sammy Sosa

Who gets ejected from a spring training game?

Up — Ian Desmond

Nationals’ 19-year-old shortstop hardly looks fazed by the spotlight.

By the Numbers

2

Pitches into the top of the second before Sammy Sosa was ejected for arguing from right field.

5

Runs scored by the Nationals during a furious, ninth-inning rally.

Overheard

“My loyalties are wherever I’m working.”

— Nationals first-base coach Don Buford, a long-time player, coach and front-office executive with the Orioles.

Nationals’ Schedule

TODAY: vs. Astros (ss) in Viera, vs. Mets (ss) in Port St. Lucie, 1 p.m.

TOMORROW: 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.

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

SATURDAY: vs. Marlins in Jupiter, 1 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 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: Partly cloudy, 51 degrees

Viera: Mostly sunny, 70 degrees.

Mark Zuckerman


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