- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 25, 2006

Nationals 4, Braves 2

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Alfonso Soriano showed exactly why the Washington Nationals traded for him.

With the Nationals trailing 2-1, Soriano hit a three-run homer an estimated 350 feet to left that gave the Nationals the lead for good. It was Soriano’s first home run in a Nationals uniform.

Soriano crushed a Tim Hudson sinker to the grass berm behind the left-field fence. Manager Frank Robinson immediately replaced his slugger at the bottom of the inning with Brandon Watson. When Soriano walked by the Nationals’ bullpen along the left-field line, all the club’s relievers stood along the fence and applauded their newest outfielder.

“They did it because they wanted me to feel comfortable. They want me to feel at home,” Soriano said.

The Nationals received another strong performance from ace Livan Hernandez, who allowed two runs on six hits and struck out two in six innings. Hernandez will have one more spring start before he pitches on Opening Day at the New York Mets on April 3.

THE BUZZ

ALFONSO GOES DEEP

Soriano belts three-run, fifth-inning shot off Hudson.

DRESE’S REHAB

Has location problems in a minor league game

CHURCH AS LEADOFF HITTER

Team-high 10 walks this spring

D.C.-LIKE WEATHER

Temperature drops into the 40s during game

BY THE NUMBERS

0.45Combined ERA for the Nationals’ top two starters, Livan Hernandez and John Patterson, coming into last night’s game against the Atlanta Braves.

19Combined strikeouts for Hernandez and Patterson in 20 innings this spring going into last night’s game.

OVERHEARD

“There’s some errors in spring training on a bad field, and most of the errors weren’t made by the starting eight, and all we have is big problems. It’s like we’ve got problems, but that ain’t it.”

— Nationals general manager Jim Bowden commenting on published reports about the Nationals’ 39 errors in 24 spring training games.

SEVEN-DAY SCHEDULE

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

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

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

Tuesday: vs. Indians in Viera, 6:05 p.m.

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

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

Friday: vs. Orioles at RFK Stadium, 7:05 p.m.

TODAY’S WEATHER

Washington: Showers, 49 degrees.

Viera: Sunny, 68 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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