- The Washington Times - Friday, March 20, 2009

GIVING UP ON SOSA?

VIERA, Fla. - Stuck in his native Dominican Republic after his work visa was denied, reliever Jorge Sosa likely has run out of time to make the Nationals’ roster.

Manager Manny Acta said even if the veteran right-hander arrived in camp this week, he would have almost no shot of winning a job.

“It would be very tough for anybody to come in camp right now who hasn’t pitched in as long as he has and just show up and take a job,” Acta said. “We’re not even thinking about him making our club right now.”

Sosa, a 31-year-old with 254 games of big league experience, signed a nonguaranteed minor league contract with Washington in December and was expected to help bolster a weak bullpen. But after drawing a 50-game suspension last summer when he tested positive for amphetamines, Sosa has been denied a work visa by the United States.

He is still appealing the decision, but the Nationals don’t expect a resolution soon.

“It’s a very complicated situation,” Acta said.

Fellow right-hander Julian Tavarez also is awaiting his work visa, but he is in camp on a tourist visa. Until he gets his final paperwork, Tavarez can’t pitch in any games in which fans are charged for admission.

NATIONALS 5, ORIOLES 4

Having already shown a knack for late-inning heroics this spring, Washington pulled off another come-from-behind win Thursday, rallying for two runs in the eighth and two more in the ninth to beat Baltimore.

With the Nationals trailing 4-1 in the eighth, Josh Willingham launched an opposite-field, two-run homer off Hayden Penn.

Down to their final out in the ninth, the Nationals got a game-tying triple from Anderson Hernandez off Wilfrido Perez. Orioles second baseman Justin Turner then threw wildly to first on Alberto Gonzalez’s grounder, bringing Hernandez home with the winning run.

- Mark Zuckerman

TEMPERATURE CHECK

Shairon Martis [UP]

Young righty is making a strong case to make the rotation

Dunn at 1B [DOWN]

Maybe it’s worth keeping Nick Johnson after all

Orioles’ travel roster [DOWN]

You know it’s bad when Lou Montanez is the No. 3 hitter

FRIDAY’S WEATHER

Washington: Mostly sunny, 48 degrees

Viera: Sunny, 79 degrees

THREE-DAY SCHEDULE

Friday: vs. Tigers in Lakeland, 1 p.m.

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

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

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