- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 4, 2007

Orioles 7, Nationals 2

VIERA, Fla. — The Baltimore Orioles left many of their big-name stars at home, but what they brought north was enough to spoil the Washington Nationals’ Grapefruit League season home opener.

Orioles outfielders Nick Markakis and Jay Payton feasted on Nationals’ pitching yesterday. Markakis went 3-for-4 with a double, one RBI, and two runs scored. Payton went 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored. The Orioles inflicted most of their damage in the third inning off right-hander Joel Hanrahan. Hanrahan just didn’t have it yesterday. The Orioles scored five runs off Hanrahan in the inning on three hits.

Hanrahan lasted just 1/3 of an inning and walked three batters, including a bases-loaded walk. At that point, Nationals manager Manny Acta had seen enough, and pulled Hanrahan. Hanrahan followed starter John Patterson in this game. Patterson allowed one run on three hits in two innings.

Patterson, who has already been named the Nationals Opening Day starter, admitted that he wasn’t particularly comfortable in the first inning when he gave up a run on consecutive singles by Markakis, Aubrey Huff and Payton, but settled down in the second inning and retired the side.

The Nationals scored their first run of the game in the third inning when second baseman Lopez singled to center field and scored catcher Jesus Flores. The Nationals added their second run in the fourth inning when Robert Fick grounded into a bases-loaded double play that scored third baseman Ryan Zimmerman.

TEMPERATURE CHECK

RENOVATIONS — up

Space Coast Stadium ready for opener.

COLD FRONT — down

Cloudy, cool day puts damper on home opener

BROADWAY, LEE, THURSTON — up

Players hand out T-shirts at gate.

MUSIC — down

Harmony Central Barbershop quartet out of key.

BY THE NUMBERS

.800 — Ryan Zimmerman’s batting average (4-for-5) after two Grapefruit League games.

135.00 — Joel Hanrahan’s ERA after yesterday’s one-third of an inning performance.

OVERHEARD

“Everything.”

— Hanrahan when asked what went wrong yesterday

SEVEN-DAY SCHEDULE

TODAY: vs. Dodgers (ss) in Viera, 1:05 p.m.; vs. Astros (ss) in Kissimmee, 1:05 p.m.

TOMORROW: vs. Braves in Lake Buena Vista, 1:05 p.m.

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

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

THURSDAY: vs. Astros in Viera, 1:05 p.m.

FRIDAY: vs. Orioles in Fort Lauderdale, 1:05 p.m.

SATURDAY: vs. Mets in Viera, 1:05 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 sunny, 43 degrees.

Viera: Partly cloudy, 69 degrees.

Ken Wright

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