- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 26, 2006

Tigers 4, Nationals 0

LAKELAND, Fla. — With just more than a week until Opening Day, Washington’s lack of offense is beginning to become a concern.

“I’ve never left spring training before without having at least one or two hot players,” manager Frank Robinson. “We don’t have anybody in our lineup right now that’s hot, swinging the bat well. That’s kind of a mystery. Every time you look up on the board, we’ve got five hits.”

Actually, the Nationals had only four hits yesterday, two in six innings off Tigers starter Jeremy Bonderman. That wasn’t nearly enough to offset the four early runs Tony Armas Jr. gave up, nor to prevent Washington from falling to 7-18-1 this spring.

THE BUZZ

WHAT OFFENSE?

No runs, four hits yesterday. The team is hitting .249 this spring.

TONY ARMAS JR.

Four runs, 70 pitches in 31/3 … but he’s healthy.

BAD DEFENSE

Zimmerman (twice) and Castillo raise team’s spring errors to 43.

TIGERS UNIFORMS

After all these years, still a classic.

DAY OFF

Three key veterans — Alfonso Soriano, Jose Guillen and Brian Schneider — didn’t make the trip to Lakeland yesterday. Robinson told all three not to go to Space Coast Stadium to work out. Instead, he wanted to make sure each took a full day of rest, which always is a challenge for the ultra-competitive Guillen. “He wants to play. It’s as simple as that,” Robinson said. “And unless you just chain him down, he’s going to play.”

‘ZIM’ STRUGGLING

Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman made two errors yesterday, giving him a team-high six this spring. Robinson said he doesn’t want to make a big deal out of it with his rookie, who is renowned for his fielding, but admitted he’s a bit concerned.

SEVEN-DAY SCHEDULE

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

Tomorrow: 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.

Saturday: vs. Orioles at Camden Yards, 4:35 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: Mostly cloudy, 52 degrees.

Viera: Sunny, 66 degrees.

— Mark Zuckerman

Got a question about the Nats? Mark Zuckerman has the answers. To

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