Maxwell helps Nationals avoid shutout

Maxwell helps Nats avoid shutout

at Winter Haven, Fla.
Friday, March 14

Indians at the plate: In a game shortened because of rain and wet grounds in the middle of the sixth, Franklin Gutierrez stood out. He had missed the last couple of days of action because of leg soreness, but quickly made his mark, ripping a two-run homer to left field off Jason Bergmann's 1-2 pitch in the first inning. It was Gutierrez's second homer of the spring. In the fourth, with two on, Gutierrez lofted an RBI single to center before being taken out for a pinch-runner.

Nationals at the plate: The Nats had their chances against Jake Westbrook, particularly when they put two runners in scoring position with one out in the second, but they didn't capitalize. They got on the board in their last at-bat, when Justin Maxwell cranked out a two-run blast to left off Masa Kobayashi in the sixth.

Indians on the mound: Westbrook looked solid in working his way out of a couple jams. He went his scheduled four innings, giving up four hits and walking three batters. But he struck out three and kept the Nats scoreless. Closer Joe Borowski worked a scoreless fifth inning.

Nationals on the mound: Bergmann wasn't helped much by a pair of errors made behind him. He gave up three runs (one earned) on three hits with two walks and two strikeouts in four innings. Right-hander Jon Rauch worked a perfect fifth.

Grapefruit League records: Indians 8-9-1; Nationals 8-9-2.

Indians up next: Right-hander Paul Byrd gets the starting nod Saturday, as the Indians play host to right-hander Jack Cassel and the Astros at 1:05 p.m. ET at Chain of Lakes Park. Masa Kobayashi, Jensen Lewis, Matt Ginter and Jeff Stevens will also be available to pitch for the Tribe.

Nationals up next: The Nationals host the Dodgers at 1:05 p.m. ET on Saturday, with left-hander John Lannan getting the start against right-hander Brad Penny. Saul Rivera and Steven Shell will also be available to pitch.

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