- The Washington Times - Friday, March 17, 2006

NATIONALS 8, TIGERS 2

VIERA, Fla. — John Patterson dominated in his team-high fourth start this spring. The tall right-hander pitched another five scoreless innings, running his shutout streak in exhibition play to 12. Against the split-squad Tigers, Patterson allowed just four hits and struck out six. From the second through the third innings, Patterson struck out four of six Detroit batters.

Patterson, the Nationals’ No.2 starter, has three more spring starts before Opening Day. During that time, Patterson said he would like to work on his slider and locate his fastball up in the strike zone with more frequency.

Nick Johnson and Ryan Zimmerman belted back-to-back home runs off Tigers reliever Kevin Hodge in a five-run eighth inning that gave the Nationals an 8-1 lead. Catcher Wiki Gonzalez drove in three runs with a sacrifice and a two-run double in the eighth inning.

THE BUZZ

PATTERSON PERFECT

Has not allowed a run this spring against major leaguers.

GAS LEAK

Fumes, stench, fire trucks and a blocked road on game day.

ARMAS’ FIRST DAY BACK

Tosses three hitless innings in minor league game.

GUZMAN’S SHOULDER

May not see the shortstop this season.

BY THE NUMBERS

3Bats outfielder Ryan Church has thrown into Space Coast Stadium’s stands this spring while swinging at pitches.

0.90Combined ERA of the Nationals last four starters — John Patterson, Jon Rauch, Livan Hernandez and Billy Traber — over 20 innings.

OVERHEARD

“It was souvenir day — you didn’t get the memo?”

— Outfielder Ryan Church on tossing two bats in the stands during yesterday’s game while swinging at pitches.

SEVEN-DAY SCHEDULE

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

Tomorrow: 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

Wednesday: vs. Cardinals in Jupiter, 1:05 p.m.

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

TODAY’S WEATHER

Washington: Rain/snow, 47 degrees.

Viera: Mostly sunny, 81 degrees.

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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