- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 7, 2007

SEEN AND HEARD

Braves 10, Nationals 6

VIERA, Fla. — Another day, another shaky performance by Washington’s pitching staff. And if somebody doesn’t step up soon, Manny Acta may have a hard time cobbling together a five-man rotation by Opening Day.

Colby Lewis was the primary culprit yesterday, giving up four runs on six hits in a two-inning start. The right-hander prides himself on keeping the ball around the plate, but on this day he spent too much time in the strike zone. The Braves jumped all over him, rapping out four straight singles to open the game, then adding a pair of doubles in the second.

The bullpen didn’t fare much better. Emiliano Fruto served up back-to-back homers to Yunel Escobar and Ryan Langerhans in the fifth (he now has given up three homers in 21/3 innings this spring), and Jermaine Van Buren was touched up by Corky Miller for a two-run shot in the seventh.

The good news? After missing three days for the birth of his daughter, Brian Schneider homered and doubled. And Travis Lee singled and drew a walk in his spring debut.

TEMPERATURE CHECK

SCHNEIDER-MAN (UP)

Home run, double, four RBI for baby Tatum

STARTING PITCHING (DOWN)

Can anyone get through three innings unscathed?

SHORTSTOP DEFENSE (DOWN)

Jimenez, Wilson need to invest in Stick ‘em

RACCOON LOOSE IN STADIUM (UP)

Took 20 minutes to catch the varmint

BY THE NUMBERS

7.94

ERA for the Nationals in six spring games.

9

At-bats before Nook Logan got his first hit.

OVERHEARD

“I think it’s time for some of them to step up. We’re not going to hand anybody a job here.”

— Manny Acta on his starting pitchers

SEVEN-DAY SCHEDULE

Today: vs. Astros in Kissimmee, 1 p.m.

Tomorrow: vs. Astros in Viera, 1 p.m.

Friday: vs. Orioles in Fort Lauderdale, 1 p.m.

Saturday: vs. Mets in Viera, 1 p.m.

Sunday: vs. Dodgers in Vero Beach, 1 p.m.

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

Tuesday: Off day

TODAY’S WEATHER

Washington: Snow, 35 degrees

Viera:Mostly sunny, 77 degrees

Mark Zuckerman

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