- The Washington Times - Monday, June 23, 2008

The rookie left-hander again wasn’t rewarded with a victory for his efforts, and he wound up with a bruised right hand in the process.

Lannan, who allowed two runs over six innings in the Nationals’ 5-3 loss to the Texas Rangers on Sunday, was struck in his nonthrowing hand by a fifth-inning ball off the bat of Jarrod Saltalamacchia. The 23-year-old still managed to retrieve the ball and throw Saltalamacchia out before shaking his hand in pain.

He remained in the game but was wearing a sizeable wrap on his hand after the game. X-rays taken were negative, and he will undergo a CT scan Monday.

“It’s just tight right now, just a little bruise,” he said.

Lannan doesn’t expect to miss his next scheduled start, which is encouraging news for a Nationals club that can’t afford to lose its best starting pitcher. Lannan churned out his 11th quality start in 15 tries Sunday; he has allowed two earned runs of fewer in each of those appearances.

Yet his record remains 4-8 despite a 3.34 ERA because the Nationals have given him the worst run support among qualifying starters in the majors.

“Really, I can’t control wins and losses,” he said. “I’ve just got to go out there and keep on doing what I’m doing.”

Manager Manny Acta, pitching coach Randy St. Claire and general manager Jim Bowden have all gone out of the way to commend Lannan for his performance and make sure he’s not getting discouraged by his lack of victories.

“Would I want him to have six or seven more wins than he has? Yes, I do,” Acta said. “But he knows what he’s doing, and everybody here appreciates what he’s doing.”

Perez ready

Odalis Perez emerged from his rehab start with Class A Potomac feeling strong and will come off the disabled list to pitch Friday against the Baltimore Orioles.

The left-hander, out since June 3 with tendinitis in his throwing shoulder, tossed four innings of one-run ball Saturday night against Frederick and said his arm felt fine. Washington’s Opening Night starter will continue to take precautions, though, in an effort to prevent further complications.

“Some people say that when you have tendinitis sometimes, if you don’t take care of the way it has to be, it might come back,” Perez said. “I will try to take care of it.”

Shell debuts

Reliever Steven Shell enjoyed a nice major league debut Sunday. The 25-year-old right-hander, promoted from Class AAA Columbus late Saturday night, tossed a 1-2-3 ninth inning and was relieved when it was all over.

“My adrenaline is still going,” he said. “It’s an experience you’ll carry with you the rest of your life. I was just thankful I got through the inning and made some quality pitches.”

Shell was 3-2 with a save and a 2.62 ERA in 22 games (four starts) for Columbus. A minor league free agent who signed with the Nationals last winter, he will be used as a middle man out of the bullpen.



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