- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 11, 2006

Astros 8, Nationals 6

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — The Nationals were tormented by the long ball. Astros center fielder Charlton Jimerson belted a fourth-inning grand slam off starter Jon Rauch. Jason Lane added a fifth-inning, two-run shot off Andrew Good. Backup Astros catcher Humberto Quintero also tagged Good when he smashed a seventh-inning solo homer.

The good news for the Nationals is the club’s defense did not commit an error. Coming into the game, the Nationals had 12 errors during the past three games, having manager Frank Robinson wondering whether his team can actually catch and throw the ball. Nationals catcher Matt LeCroy had a fine day at the plate going 2-for-3 with two singles and an RBI. Leadoff man Brandon Watson went 3-for-5 with a run scored.

THE BUZZ

THE NEW GUZIE

Starting shortstop out a week with sore shoulder.

ROYCE TO THE RESCUE

Veteran shortstop has the position for a week.

BIG D

Error-free game yesterday by Nats.

LOSING SKID

Steak reaches seven without a win.

BY THE NUMBERS

2Grand slams Nationals pitchers have allowed in games this spring. Astros outfielder Charlton Jimerson joined Marlins outfielder and ex-Nat Matt Cepicky yesterday.

3Home runs the Astros hit yesterday against the Nationals, including two off reassigned reliever Andrew Good.

INJURY REPORT

Left-handed specialist Joey Eischen threw live batting practice yesterday at Space Coast Stadium in Viera, but has not pitched in an exhibition game this spring. Eischen has been plagued all camp by tendinitis in his left shoulder, which he thinks he irritated working out in the offseason. The club believes the veteran reliever is still a few days away from pitching in a game. … Outfielder Tyrell Godwin did not play yesterday because of a stiff neck but doesn’t think his ailment is anything serious. He expects to be available for today’s game against the Dodgers.

OVERHEARD

“I like the short-term extensions because all my friends get to call me and congratulate me every six months, so it’s worked out really well.”

— Nationals general manager Jim Bowden on his latest six-month contract extension.

SEVEN-DAY SCHEDULE

Today: vs. Dodgers in Viera, 1:05 p.m.

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

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

Tuesday: (ss) vs. Marlins in Viera, 1:05 p.m.; (ss) vs. Marlins in Jupiter, 1:05 p.m.

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

Thursday: vs. Tigers in Viera, 1:05 p.m.

Friday: vs. Orioles in Fort Lauderdale, 1:05 p.m.

? Ken Wright

Got a question about the Nats? Mark Zuckerman has the answers. To submit a question, go to the https://www.washingtontimes.com/sports>Sports Page

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