- The Washington Times - Monday, March 26, 2007

Braves 6, Nationals 0

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Washington rookie left-hander Matt Chico can label this as a learning experience.

Atlanta hit the 23-year-old hard in his fifth spring start yesterday, pounding 10 hits and scoring six runs (five earned) in Chico’s 32/3 innings.

After a perfect first inning, things went south quickly. Trailing 1-0 in the second, Dmitri Young dropped a routine throw from the shortstop that would have ended the inning, and Atlanta scored again.

Chipper Jones, who entered the game hitting .324, delivered the big blow in the Braves’ five-hit third inning with a two-run home run to center field that gave Atlanta a 4-0 lead.

Chico, who struck out three and walked two, had allowed just four runs in 131/3 innings in four previous appearances.

Meanwhile, Braves starter Chuck James threw six shutout innings, allowing singles to Austin Kearns and backup catcher Boris Flores as the Nationals (10-13-1) suffered their second shutout of the spring season.

TEMPERATURE CHECK

Up - MORE ROSTER MOVES

The number stands at 30 a week before Opening Day.

Down - TRAVIS LEE’S REQUEST

Asks for and is granted his release.

(up) THE OVAL OFFICE

White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten attends game.

Down - INJURIES

Simontacchi and Logan likely to open season on DL.

BY THE NUMBERS

6 Runs left-handed rookie Matt Chico allowed yesterday against the Braves.

4 Runs left-handed rookie Matt Chico had allowed in four previous Grapefruit League appearances.

OVERHEARD

“We’re going to be flexible. We’re going to be Tom Brady at the line of scrimmage between now and Opening Day.”

— General manager Jim Bowden on the Nationals’ 25-man Opening Day roster

SEVEN-DAY SCHEDULE

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

Tomorrow: vs. Mets in Viera, 7:05 p.m.

Wednesday: vs. Marlins (ss) in Jupiter, 1:05 p.m.; vs. Orioles (ss) in Viera, 1:05 p.m.

Thursday: vs. Orioles in Columbus, Ohio, 4:05 p.m.

Friday: vs. Orioles in Norfolk, 2:05 p.m.

Saturday: vs. Orioles at RFK Stadium, 1:05 p.m.

Sunday: Off day

TODAY’S WEATHER

Washington: Cloudy, 62 degrees.

Viera: Sunny, 82 degrees.

Ken Wright

Want more Nats? Check out Nats Home Plate.

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