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Zimmerman, Belliard take Astros deep

Zimmerman, Belliard go deep

at Kissimmee, Fla.
Saturday, March 8

Nationals at the plate: With winds gusting out at 36 mph, it should come as no surprise Saturday's game included a handful of long balls. Luis Jimenez homered to lead off the second, and Ronnie Belliard followed with a two-run homer in the third. Both were hit off Felipe Paulino. Ryan Zimmerman also went deep. Lastings Milledge was 2-for-2 with three walks and two runs scored.

Astros at the plate: The Astros scored two in the first off former Washington starter Tim Redding, who uncorked a wild pitch to allow Kazuo Matsui to score from second. Geoff Blum's single to left-center scored Mark Loretta. Carlos Lee knocked a leadoff homer off Redding in the third. Matsui was 3-for-3 with a double and three runs scored. Blum was 2-for-3, while Brad Ausmus went 3-for-4.

Nationals on the mound: Redding struggled with his control in the first, allowing the first three baserunners to score on two walks and a hit batter. Redding yielded five runs on six hits over three innings.

Astros on the mound: Paulino yielded five runs on four hits over three innings with four walks and three strikeouts. Jose Valverde walked two and struck out one in the fourth frame.

Grapefruit League records: Nationals 5-5; Astros 5-7.

Up next: The Nationals will engage in split-squad competition with the Indians on Sunday. Half the team will stay in Viera, Fla., to host Cleveland, while half will travel to the Indians' spring home in Winter Haven, Fla. Right-hander Jason Bergmann will start the home game for the Nats, while lefty Matt Chico will start on the road.

Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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