- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 7, 2006

ASTROS 11, NATIONALS (ss) 1 NATIONALS (ss) 0, DODGERS 0

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — The Nationals forgot to take their bats with them on the road yesterday, managing a total of one run in two split-squad games.

Most of the regulars joined manager Frank Robinson in Kissimmee, where they were held hitless by the Astros until Wiki Gonzalez’s fifth-inning single and didn’t score until Daryle Ward’s sixth-inning sacrifice fly. Houston, meanwhile, scored six runs in the first and knocked out left-hander Mike Bacsik before the end of the inning. Bacsik, a non-roster invitee to camp, allowed the game’s first five batters to reach safely and walked three before finally getting pulled with two outs in the inning.

In Vero Beach, Nationals starter John Patterson was outstanding in his second spring start of a split-squad game. Patterson, the No. 2 starter this season, allowed just one hit in three shutout innings. He had three strikeouts and one walk.

The only hit Patterson gave up was a screaming liner by Willy Aybar that went through the webbing of second baseman Marlon Anderson’s glove to lead off the third.

“Everything today went really well,” Patterson said. “My mechanics felt better than that one inning I threw against the Korean team. The breaking balls still aren’t there yet, but my fastball and changeup felt real good.”

In the Nationals exhibition season opener against the Kia Tigers, Patterson allowed two runs on three hits in just one inning.

Nationals shortstop Josh Labandeira preserved yesterday’s tie when he threw out Dodgers pinch runner Justin Ruggiano at the plate to end the ninth inning and the game.

The Buzz

Up ? Lease agreement

Now, about that owner …

Sideways ? Starting pitchers

Patterson goes three scoreless in Vero Beach; Bacsik gives up six in two-thirds of an inning in Kissimmee.

Up ? Vidro’s health

Plays three straight days, looks like he’s holding up.

Down ? Preston Wilson

Ex-Nat went 2-for-2 with a double, RBI for Astros. Where was that last year?

Injury report

Infielder Damian Jackson did not make the trip to Kissimmee yesterday after suffering from esophagel spasms. The condition is not considered serious, and Jackson is expected back today.

Overheard

“He wasn’t very good today.”

—Frank Robinson, on left-hander Mike Bacsik’s rough outing

Seven-day schedule

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

TOMORROW: 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.

SATURDAY: vs. Dodgers in Viera, 1:05 p.m.

SUNDAY: vs. Marlins in Jupiter, 1:05 p.m.

MONDAY: vs. Mets in Port St. Lucie, 7:10 p.m.

How to get to Space Coast

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: Sunny, 46 degrees.

Viera: Sunny, 68 degrees.

Mark Zuckerman and 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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