- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 8, 2005

CARDINALS 9, NATIONALS 7

JUPITER, Fla.— The Washington Nationals were in great shape during pitcher Esteban Loaiza’s four innings of work. When the big right-hander left the game, everything fell apart in yesterday’s exhibition loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Relievers Gary Majewski and T.J. Tucker blew a 3-1 Nationals lead in an eight-run fifth inning by St. Louis. Pinch-hitter John Mabry’s three-run homer over the left-center field fence off Tucker gave the Cardinals a 9-3 lead against Washington (4-2).

Majewski, who faced four Cardinals batters and didn’t get anyone out, was saddled with the loss. Meanwhile, Tucker’s line read five runs — all earned — on four hits in one inning.

Nationals reserve outfielder Jeffrey Hammonds belted a solo homer in the sixth inning. Washington third baseman Tony Blanco went 3-for-4 with two RBI. Outfielders J.J. Davis and Ryan Church both tripled, and leadoff man Endy Chavez was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.

THE BUZZ

Up ” Leadoff man

Endy Chavez boosts his .125 on-base percentage with a 2-for-4 day.

Down ” Nationals bullpen

Relievers surrender eight runs in one inning.

Down ” Base-running demon

Cardinals outfielder Reggie Sanders passes teammate trying to tag from third.

Up ” Roger Dean Stadium

Fantastic six-field facility shared by the Cardinals and Florida Marlins.

BY THE NUMBERS

7 Doubles combined for the Nationals and Cardinals.

10 Runners left on base by the Nationals.

OVERHEARD

“I’m not locked into him as a four-inning pitcher that can’t get past the fifth. He just didn’t do that last year.”

— Nationals manager Frank Robinson on pitcher John Patterson.

Nationals’ Schedule

TODAY: vs. Detroit in Viera, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

TOMORROW: vs. Florida (ss) in Viera, Fla., 1:05 p.m.; vs. Cleveland (ss) in Winter Haven, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

FRIDAY: vs. St. Louis in Viera, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

SATURDAY: vs. Florida in Jupiter, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

SUNDAY: vs. Baltimore in Viera, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

MONDAY: vs. Los Angeles in Viera, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

TUESDAY: vs. Cleveland (ss) in Viera, Fla., 1:05 p.m.; vs. Houston (ss) in Kissimmee, Fla., 7:05 p.m.

WEDNESDAY: vs. Atlanta in Disney, Fla., 7:05 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 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, 42 degrees.

Viera: Rain, 63 degrees.

Mark Zuckerman and Ken Wright

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