Offense propels Nats to exhibition win

Offense propels Nats to exhibition win

NATIONALS 13, Kia Tigers 8
at Viera, Fla.
Wednesday, March 1

Nationals at the plate: Matt LeCroy drove in three runs with a bases-clearing single, while Cristian Guzman went 2-for-2 with an RBI. Brandon Watson, in the running for the center-field job, went hitless in four at-bats. Ryan Church went 2-for-3 with an RBI. The Nationals scored at least one run in each of the first five innings. Alex Escobar hit the only home run of the game, a solo shot in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Tigers at the plate: Outfielder Jae-Loo Lee drove in two runs against John Patterson, while third baseman Michael Cervenak, the only American on the team, drove in two runs as well.

Nationals on the mound: Patterson gave up two runs in one inning. He was supposed to pitch two innings, but he already passed his 35-pitch limit. Closer Chad Cordero, coming into the game in the fifth inning, gave up four runs, three earned, in one-third of an inning.

Tigers on the mound: Starter Sang Hwa Lee pitched two innings and surrendered five runs, two earned, on four hits. He threw 40 pitches, 28 of them for strikes. Reliever Jeong-Cheol Gwak pitched one inning and gave up three runs.

Up next: The Nationals return to Space Coast Stadium to open the Grapefruit League slate against the Pirates on Thursday. Right-hander Ramon Ortiz, making his Nationals debut, will start the game, while Kyle Denney, Steve Watkins, Kevin Gryboski and Valerio De Los Santos will pitch in relief.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.