- The Washington Times - Friday, March 3, 2006


BRADENTON, Fla. — Washington’s young hitters sure are making a good impression so far. Rookies Ryan Zimmerman and Brandon Watson and second-year outfielder Ryan Church all had key hits yesterday, giving the Nationals an early lead before the Pirates rallied late to win at McKechnie Field.

Zimmerman went 2-for-2 and with a first-pitch, RBI single off Pittsburgh ace lefty Zach Duke to open the Nationals’ scoring in the second. One inning later, Church hit a two-run homer to right off reliever Paul Maholm to make it 3-0. Watson, meanwhile, went 2-for-3 and beat out a perfectly executed drag bunt, making him 4-for-5 with a walk in his first two spring training games.

Nationals non-roster right-hander Kyle Denney had a nice performance. He started and allowed just one hit in three innings, putting him in position for the win. But left-hander Micah Bowie was tagged for a pair of home runs — Craig Wilson’s three-run shot in the sixth and Carlos Maldonado’s two-run blast in the seventh — and took the loss.



Lawrence, Fick, now Guillen … and it’s still the first week of March!


Zimmerman, Church, Watson lead offensive attack against Pirates.


Quaint McKechnie Field has old-time, minor league feel.


Traffic, construction means you’re on the road by 6:30 a.m.


0 Days Jose Guillen spent on the disabled list the last two seasons.

.800, .833

Batting average and on-base percentage for Brandon Watson through two Grapefruit League games.


“It just seems like we keep taking punches after punches. We keep getting hit and hit, but we’re still standing.”

— Manager Frank Robinson, on the Nationals’ sudden spate of injuries.


TODAY: (ss) vs. Panama in Viera, 1:05 p.m.; (ss) vs. Mets in Port St. Lucie, 1:10 p.m.

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

MONDAY: (ss) vs. Astros in Kissimmee, 1:05 p.m.; (ss) vs. Dodgers in Vero Beach, 1:05 p.m.

TUESDAY: vs. Marlins in Viera, 1:05 p.m.

WEDNESDAY: vs. Cardinals in Viera, 1:05 p.m.

THURSDAY: (ss) vs. Marlins in Viera, 1:05 p.m.; (ss) vs. Indians in Winter Haven, 1:05 p.m.

FRIDAY: vs. Astros in Kissimmee, 1:05 p.m.


Washington: Sunny, 45 degrees.

Viera: Partly cloudy, 71 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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