Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz allowed a ground-rule double and a run-scoring two-out single in the first inning of Friday's Grapefruit League-ending game against the Washington Nationals, and then proceeded to retire 16 Nats' batters in-a-row before handing the ball to Boston reliever Hideki Okajima, who surrendered the first hit in six innings, a leadoff double by Mike Morse, before retiring the next three hitters in order to end the top of the seventh with the Sox up 7-1. A bases loaded sac fly by Cristian Guzman in the top of the eighth made it 7-2 Red Sox, which is how it would end. Washington lefty Scott Olsen may have earned himself a role in the twenty-ten Nats' rotation with his 5.0 inning, 5 hit, 1 ER outing, in which the 26-year-old left-hander struck out 7. After Olsen made an argument for his inclusion on the 25-man Roster, Nationals' right-hander Mike MacDougal came on and recorded 2 outs before imploding, allowing 5 hits, 1 walk and 6 ER before departing having turned a 1-1 game into a 7-1 blowout...
Nats: Craig Stammen pitched with bone chips in his elbow last season, but there was no way the 26-year-old right-hander was coming out of the rotation after having made his MLB debut following 5 years in the Nationals' system over which the '05 12th Round pick made 107 starts at every level in the minors before getting called up to DC. In 4 games and 14.1 IP this Spring, Stammen's given up 14 hits and 10 runs, 5 earned, while walking 4 and recording 10 K's. Sox: MLB.com's Ian Browne reported on Friday in an article entitled, "Nats fall to Red Sox in Florida finale", that Washington would have to end the Spring against Sox' right-hander Tim Wakefield, who's sure to mess up the Nats' hitters' timing for at least the first week or so of the regular season. After the 42-year-old knuckleballer, Mr. Browne reports that Daisuke Matsuzaka will pitch three innings as he works his way into shape after suffering from back and neck issues this Spring.
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• DC Starting Lineup: In The Comments When It's Announced.