- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 28, 2007

SEEN AND HEARD

Nationals 5, Mets 3

VIERA, Fla. — Washington right-hander Jerome Williams admittedly didn’t have his best stuff in what was his final exhibition season start. He walked four batters and hit another but still only allowed two runs on three hits over five innings, improving to 3-1. Of Williams’ 80 pitches, 41 were thrown for strikes.

The Nationals scored their first run of the game in the first inning on a Ryan Zimmerman sacrifice fly to left. Julio Franco, New York’s 48-year-old first baseman, greeted Williams with a second inning solo homer to right field that just cleared the outstretched glove of Nationals right fielder Austin Kearns, tying the game at 1-1.

Washington claimed a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third on Kearns’ single to scored Felipe Lopez. The Mets tied the game 2-2 in the top of the fifth inning when Ramon Castro — who was walked to open the inning — advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by pitcher Oliver Perez and scored on a David Wright infield single over the second base bag.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Kearns’ two-run single to left gave the Nationals a 4-2 lead. For the game, Kearns went 2-for-4 with three RBI. The Nationals added one more run in the sixth on an Abraham Nunez RBI single.

Nationals reliever Ryan Wagner surrendered a solo homer to pinch hitter Mike Carp in the top of the eighth inning.

TEMPERATURE CHECK

NOOK LOGAN’S RECOVERY (UP)

Has not been ruled out for Opening Day.

THE TERRY BOWDEN SHOW (DOWN)

Bobby’s son takes up radio booth No. 3 for no reason.

YOUNG AND KING (UP)

Veterans have contracts purchased, now on 40-man roster.

BOOKER OPTIONED TO COLUMBUS (DOWN)

Allowed just one hit in four appearances.

BY THE NUMBERS

1996 Was the last time two major league teams (Cleveland and Cincinnati) played a game in Columbus, Ohio. The Nationals play the Orioles in an exhibition tomorrow in Columbus.

3 Outings for Jerome Williams against the New York Mets this spring.

OVERHEARD

“I’m thrilled. I’m very happy. That’s half of the battle. Because six months together, playing every day, it could turn into an eternity if things are not going right.”

— Nationals manager Manny Acta on good clubhouse chemistry

SIX-DAY SCHEDULE

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

Tomorrow: 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

Monday: Opening Day vs. Marlins at RFK Stadium, 1:05 p.m.

TODAY’S WEATHER

Washington: Cloudy, 64 degrees.

Viera: Sunny, 80 degrees.

Ken Wright

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