- The Washington Times - Monday, March 20, 2006

Dodgers 11, Nationals 5

Viera, Fla. — Making just his second appearance this spring, Nationals reliever Joey Eischen failed to protect a two-run lead in the sixth inning. Eischen allowed four runs, including a three-run homer to Dodgers catcher Russell Martin, that erased the Nationals’ lead and ruined a fine performance by Nationals starter Tony Armas Jr. Armas pitched three shutout innings and allowed just one hit.

Nationals left-handed reliever Valerio De Los Santos imploded in the seventh inning when he turned a close game into a Dodgers rout. De Los Santos pitched a third of an inning and allowed six runs — four earned — on four hits.

This was the 11th time the Nationals have lost by three or more runs in 22 exhibition games this spring.

THE BUZZ

Up ? SORIANO’S REFUSAL

Brandon Watson responds with great game.

Down - SORIANO’S SITUATION

Can someone say soap opera?

Up - SORIANO, SECOND BASEMAN

Vidro has a better all-around game.

Down - SORIANO’S INSUBORDINATION

First day back and he refuses to play left.

BY THE NUMBERS

.000

Batting average for Soriano in 12 at-bats in the World Baseball Classic.

.200

On-base percentage for Soriano in the World Baseball Classic.

OVERHEARD

“Nothing is against his will. I can’t force him to go out there.”

— Nationals manager Frank Robinson after watching Alfonso Soriano trot out to second base for infield practice instead of left field, where he refused to play last night.

SEVEN-DAY SCHEDULE

Today: Off day

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

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

Friday: vs. Braves in Lake Buena Vista, 7:05 p.m.

Saturday: vs. Tigers in Lakeland, 1:05 p.m.

Sunday: vs. Astros in Viera, 1:05 p.m.

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

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: Snow showers, 36 degrees.

Viera: Partly cloudy, 87 degrees.

Ken Wright

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

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