- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 31, 2010

JUPITER, Fla. | Cristian Guzman made his first start at second base since losing the shortstop job to rookie Ian Desmond and helped turn two double plays in the Washington Nationals’ 9-6 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday.

Guzman also went 3 for 4 with two doubles and two RBIs.

Guzman has played 1,272 games, all at shortstop. Manager Jim Riggleman said Guzman will be “somewhat of a utility player, but more than that.”

“We really don’t have too much concern that he’s a problem over there, but if we did he alleviated that today,” Riggleman said.

Nationals infield coach Pat Listach said the most difficult adjustment is turning the double play.

“He’s got to get used to not seeing the runner,” Listach said. “He’s going to be fine over there. It looked like he’s been there his whole life.”

Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright, who led the NL with 19 wins, allowed five earned runs on 10 hits in five innings. John Lannan, Washington’s opening day starter, allowed two unearned runs in five innings.

NOTES: A CT scan showed no broken bones on Cardinals catcher Jason LaRue’s left hand and his status was day to day. Starter Yadier Molina (right side) also is out, so rookie Matt Pagnozzi could be the opening-day starter. … The Cardinals made no decisions on two remaining roster spots. Among those in the running, Nick Stavinoha was 1 for 5 with an RBI single and Joe Mather was 0 for 1 with a walk. Mather is batting .216 but is third on the team with 11 RBIs and can play several positions. Allen Craig was 1 for 2 with a single and is batting .316. … Before the game, the Nationals optioned RHP J.D. Martin to Triple-A Syracuse. That move leaves two pitchers in the running for the fifth rotation spot, LHP Scott Olsen and RHP Garrett Mock.

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