- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 10, 2007

SEEN AND HEARD

Orioles 4, Nationals 3

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Washington’s “B” lineup was no match for Baltimore’s “A” team.

Nationals manager Manny Acta brought only one regular with him on the 21/2-hour bus ride from Viera to South Florida, left fielder Ryan Church, and the rest of the lineup didn’t put up much of a fight against Orioles right-handers Jaret Wright, Jeremy Guthrie, Michael Doyne and Todd Williams (who combined to pitch six scoreless innings).

Baltimore manager Sam Perlozzo, on the other hand, used a lineup similar to the one he will write out on Opening Day, including Miguel Tejada, Melvin Mora, Brian Roberts, Nick Markakis, Aubrey Huff and Jay Gibbons. That group combined to score four runs and rap out seven hits in the game’s first three innings against Matt Chico.

The rookie left-hander, trying to win a spot in the Nationals’ rotation, was charged with all four runs in only 21/3 innings. Fellow rookie Levale Speigner, who replaced Chico in the third, fared much better. The Rule 5 pickup didn’t allow a run and scattered three hits over 32/3 innings.

TEMPERATURE CHECK

CHICO-MANIA (down)

Rookie isn’t the man against O’s

SPEIGNER-MANIA (up)

Rule 5 righty throws hat into ring

QUICK PITCH (down)

Rare call on Bradford results in two seventh-inning stretches

FORT LAUDERDALE STADIUM (down)

Even Dodgertown has wireless in the press box!

BY THE NUMBERS

1

Projected regular in Manny Acta’s starting lineup yesterday (Ryan Church)

3

2-0 counts for Matt Chico in the first inning

OVERHEARD

“I know a lot’s been said about us looking for four starters, but there are some teams that are missing three and two. Everybody’s looking for pitching. Hopefully out of all these arms we have over here, we can put five guys out there who are going to give us a chance to compete.”

— Manny Acta on the Nationals’ unsettled rotation

SEVEN-DAY SCHEDULE

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

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

Monday: vs. Mets in Viera, 1:05 p.m.

Tuesday: Off day

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

Thursday vs. Tigers (ss) in Viera, 7:05 p.m., vs. Dodgers (ss) in Vero Beach, 7:05 p.m.

Friday: vs. Indians in Winter Haven, 12:30 p.m.

HOW TO GET TO SPACE COAST STADIUM

From Orlando/north: Take Route 528 East (Bee Line Expressway) 25 miles to I-95 South. Exit I-95 South at Fiske Boulevard (Exit 195). Proceed south on Fiske Boulevard/Stadium Parkway to the stadium. Approximate time: 45 minutes.

From Melbourne/south: Take I-95 North to Wickham Road (Exit 191) and turn left. Turn right on Lake Andrew Drive and follow to the stadium. Approximate time: 20 minutes.

TODAY’S WEATHER

Washington: mostly cloudy, 62 degrees.

Viera: scattered thunderstorms, 79 degrees.

Mark Zuckerman

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