- The Washington Times - Monday, March 2, 2009

Dunn headed to WBC

VIERA, Fla. — Surprisingly enough, there were other things going on at Space Coast Stadium on Sunday after departed general manager Jim Bowden left the building. Most notably, his biggest free agent signing also left the building, albeit for different reasons.

The Nationals announced Adam Dunn will play for the United States in the World Baseball Classic, replacing injured Colorado outfielder Brad Hawpe. Dunn left shortly after the game to join the team in Clearwater, Fla.

Dunn got a call from U.S. manager Davey Johnson on Saturday night and accepted the invitation after meeting with Manny Acta on Sunday.

“He’s excited. I told him about it,” said Acta, who managed the Dominican Republic in the 2006 tournament. “I told him every game counts. It’s very important. It’s intense. It seems like you have to win every game because of the format they’re playing. He was gung-ho about that, too.”

It means the Nationals will have less time to evaluate whether they will play Dunn at first base or the outfield, but Acta said Dunn can make up for whatever playing time he doesn’t get in the tournament during the last two weeks of camp.

Flores to have MRI

Catcher Jesus Flores was a late scratch from Sunday’s game because Acta didn’t want him catching two days in a row. But it could turn out to be more than that.

Flores has a strained right elbow and will have a precautionary MRI on Monday, a team spokesman said. Trainer Lee Kuntz examined Flores after the game and ordered the test.

ORIOLES 7, NATIONALS 5

Scott Olsen wasn’t exactly sharp on a windy afternoon at Space Coast Stadium, but then he probably wasn’t planning to be. In his first start of the year, Olsen threw no breaking pitches and only one change-up to the seven batters he faced in two innings, focusing almost solely on fastball command.

The 27 mph, right-to-left gusts sent several shots flying off Baltimore bats in the first two innings but also probably kept a Luke Scott shot in the park.

Nick Johnson homered for the Nationals, who scored four runs in the game’s last three innings. Six of Baltimore’s seven runs came off Washington’s first three relievers (Tyler Clippard, Terrell Young and Garrett Mock).

— Ben Goessling

TEMPERATURE CHECK

DOWN: JIM BOWDEN

Up-and-down tenure ends with emotional resignation

DOWN: BLAMING THE MEDIA

Plenty of reasons; this was the most convenient

UP: NICK JOHNSON

Homer was definitely wind-aided but still nice

TODAY’S WEATHER

Washington: Snow/wind, 28 degrees

Viera: Sunny, 64 degrees

THREE-DAY SCHEDULE

Monday: Off

Tuesday: vs. Italy (WBC) in Viera, 1 p.m.

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


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