Nationals vs Cardinals...Spring Training Game Report.

XM 175 is live from Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida, the site of the Grapefruit League action between the visiting Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at the Cards' Spring home. "Opening Night" Odalis Perez is on the hill in what will be his final Spring start before Sunday night's domestic Season Opener, and the Cards counter with Anthony Reyes, St. Louis' flat-brimmed starter...

The Washington Nationals' starting lineup...

Felipe Lopez SS
Lastings Milledge CF
Ryan Zimmerman 3B
Nick Johnson 1B
Austin Kearns RF
Ronnie Belliard 2B
Rob Mackowiak LF
Jesus Flores C

...Felipe Lopez swings at the first pitch from Anthony Reyes amd grounds it to third where Tony La Russa-approved third baseman Troy Glaus makes the play. Lastings Milledge goes down. Ryan Zimmerman flies out to Skip Schumaker in right, and Anthony Reyes has one scoreless. Odalis Perez retires the Cards in order to end the first.

1 on, 1 out for Ronnie Belliard in the second, Belliard grounds to shortstop Cezar Itzuris, to second and around the horn for the inning-ending DP. Troy Glaus doubles through third to start the Cardinals' second. Rick Ankiel grounds to Belliard who takes the out at first. Jason LaRue grounds out. Glaus scores. A double + two groundouts = 1-0 St. Louis.

Washington goes down in order in the third. Still 1-0 Cards after five innings of play. Odalis Perez singles with one out in the sixth. (Only the 2nd DC hit off Reyes.) Felipe Lopez K's. Lastings Milledge lines a single to left. Ryan Zimmerman up with two on, two out. Zimmerman pops out to the infield.

The Cardinals add the their lead in the home half of the sixth after Rob Mackowiak loses a pop fly in the sun in spite of his sunglasses, bringing up Thee Albert Pujols with runners on second and third...Pujols singles up the middle, two runs cross, 3-0 Cardinals.

Ryan Franklin replaces Anthony Reyes after 6.0 IP, 3 hits, 0 ER, 1 walk and 2 K's, and Franklin continues to dominate Washington's batters holding the Nationals scoreless through seven. Lastings Milledge comes up against lefty Cardinals' reliever Ron Villone with 2 on, 2 out in the eigth...full count...Milledge stares at a third strike, though he doesn't agree with the call. 3-0 St. Louis after eight. Jason Isringhausen comes on to close it for the Cardinals and retires the Nationals in order. Final score 3-0 St. Louis.

Chris Schroder and Saul Rivera pitch a scoreless inning each in relief of Odalis Perez, whose last start of the Spring is a 6.0 inning outing in which the veteran lefty allows 7 hits, 3 runs and 1 walk, while striking out five for a 4.96 Grapefruit League ERA heading into Sunday's showdown with Atlanta live on ESPN from Nationals Park in Washington, DC as the Nationals try to win their first Opening Day game since arriving in DC...('05 8-4 loss in Philly...'06 3-2 loss in NY...'07 9-2 loss at home against Florida)...

...Milledge, Nick Johnson, Pete Orr and Odalis Perez have the only hits of the day, all singles, off St. Louis. Tomorrow it's Matt Chico on the mound against the Braves in a game that's going to be available on MLB.tv...

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