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Dukes' triple sparks Nats in first inning

Dukes' triple sparks Nats in first inning

NATIONALS 6, CARDINALS 5
at Jupiter, Fla.
Wednesday, March 5

Nationals at the plate: Elijah Dukes tripled in two runs, but also struck out twice. Bret Boone doubled and walked, and Ryan Langerhans added an RBI single in Washington's three-run first inning. Pete Orr hit the ball hard, with a single and a two-run homer.

Cardinals at the plate: Rule 5 Draft pick Brian Barton singled three times before cranking a two-run homer in the eighth inning. Ryan Ludwick picked up three hits, including his first home run of the spring. Joe Mather also enjoyed a fine day, reaching base three times with a triple, a walk and a hit-by-pitch.

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Nationals on the mound: Starter John Lannan bent, but didn't break. Over three innings, Lannan allowed three hits and two walks, but struck out three and didn't permit a run. Following Lannan, Tyler Clippard lasted 2 2/3 innings and had a little trouble. Clippard allowed two runs on five hits, striking out one and walking two.

Cardinals on the mound: Starter Mike Parisi wasn't helped by his defense, allowing three runs (two earned) in the first inning before cruising through the second and third. Ron Villone allowed a hit but no runs or walks in his '08 Grapefruit League debut.

Grapefruit League records: Nationals 3-5; Cardinals 2-5

Up next: The Cardinals play the Marlins twice in less than 24 hours, with a split-squad night game Wednesday, where they're designated the visiting team, followed by a Thursday afternoon contest where they're the home club. Washington goes back home on Thursday, playing the Mets with a 7:05 p.m. ET start. John Patterson and Pedro Martinez will start.

Matthew Leach 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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