- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 14, 2006


PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — The lights went out on Washington last night.

With the Nationals trailing New York by six runs in the top of the seventh inning, some of the lights at Tradition Field went out. After 14 minutes of consultation with stadium personnel and both managers, the umpiring crew called the game.

The early ending might have been a blessing in disguise for the Nationals, who lost for the 11th time in 14 games this spring. Right-hander Pedro Astacio, making his first start, lasted just two innings and allowed three runs. Reliever Kyle Denney fared no better, serving up a solo homer to Xavier Nady in the third and then allowing five more runs to score in the fifth — three on a bases-loaded double by 47-year-old Julio Franco.

The Buzz

Pedro Astacio

Three runs, four hits, a walk and a hit batter in two innings.

Power Surge

Marlon Byrd, Brendan Harris go back-to-back.

John Wetteland, Motorcycle Man

Bullpen coach rides hog from Viera to Port St. Lucie … in full uniform.

Night games

Nice change of pace but murder on deadlines.

Did You Know?

Seven players on the Nationals’ spring-training roster attended colleges in this year’s NCAA basketball tournament: Ryan Drese (California), Brian Lawrence (Northwestern State), Larry Broadway (Duke), Ryan Church (Nevada), Tyrell Godwin (North Carolina), Kyle Denney (Oklahoma) and Mike DiFelice (Tennessee).


“I’ve never had anybody coddle me and baby me like this. It’s been nice.”

— Joey Eischen on the treatment he has received from the Nationals while recovering from shoulder tendinitis.

Seven-day schedule

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

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

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

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

Saturday: vs. Mets (ss) in Viera, 1:05 p.m.

Sunday: vs. Dodgers in Vero Beach, 1:05 p.m.

Monday: vs. Dodgers in Viera, 6:05 p.m.

Tuesday: Off day.

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.

Today’s weather

Washington: Windy, 59 degrees.

Viera: Mostly sunny, 83 degrees.

Mark Zuckerman

Got a question about the Nats? Mark Zuckerman has the answers. To submit a question, go to the Sports Page

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