Redding Pitches Nats Past Pirates

Posted by Dave Nichols | Monday, May 05, 2008 | , , , | 0 comments »

Washington, DC--The Washington Nationals finished their longest homestand of the season with another victory--their sixth win in seven games--and every starter had at least one base hit to back starter Tim Redding, who pitched into the seventh inning allowing only one earned run.

The Nats went 8-3 over the eleven game homestand, and now head out for a three-game series in Houston before returning to their new park with the new-found home-field advantage.

Redding went six and one-third innings, allowing one earned run--an Adam LaRoche solo home run--and six hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out five. Saul Rivera, Luis Ayala and Jesus Colome all did their jobs in the late innings to protect the lead and enable the Nationals to creep ever closer to the .500 mark.

The Nationals' hitters spread thirteen hits in this game, with shortstop Cristian Guzman, Austin Kearns and Rob Mackowiak all gathering two hits apiece. Aaron Boone, filling in for third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, homered and Felipe Lopez, Nick Johnson, Kearns and Wily Mo Pena all drove in runs for the home team.

Zimmerman's day off was design by Manager Manny Acta, as he wanted to give the young third baseman two full days off, incorporating Monday's off day. It was Zimmerman's first day off since Sept. 18, 2006, a string of 205 straight games. "We talked in spring training," Acta said. "He told me he's not pursuing Cal Ripken Jr.'s record." In all seriousness though, Acta maintained that it's a long season, and by giving Zimmerman two days off like this when it's possible will hopefully keep his legs fresh the entire season.

Washington squares off against the Astros in Houston on Tuesday with Shawn Hill looking for his first win against Jack Cassel (1-0).

NATS NOTES: Washington's record stands at 14-18, four games behind division leading Philadelphia.

Attendance for Sunday's game against the Pirates was 30,564.

First baseman Dmitri Young went to extended spring training in Viera, FL to begin baseball related activities again the team announced. He will be working on running, hitting and fielding drills with the hope of returning to the line-up in the near future. He has been rehabilitating a sprained lower back for four weeks and recently had a breakthrough working with team trainer Tatiana Tchamouroff.

Elijah Dukes, on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Columbus, was ejected on Saturday after arguing a called strike three. Dukes has a long and extensive history with anger management problems, but the team does not seem overly concerned with this latest flare-up. General Manager Jim Bowden commented that Dukes is running well and how hard he's playing while down in the minors.

Redding Pitches Nast Past Pirates
also posted at DC Sports Box

Photo (c) C. Nichols 2008