KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- It was windy at Osceola County Stadium on Saturday afternoon, and the Nationals' position players took advantage of the situation, collecting 13 hits in a 12-10 victory over the Astros. Ryan Zimmerman and Ronnie Belliard were the hitting heroes by launching a home run apiece and knocking in a combined seven runs. "They did a good job of using the elements. They were trying to go the other way," manager Manny Acta said. "Starting with batting practice, some of the guys were working on [hitting to right field]."More
Unfortunately, the Nationals' pitchers, except for Joel Hanrahan and Saul Rivera, weren't as lucky. Right-hander Tim Redding started for Washington and gave up five runs in three innings. He said the elements made it difficult to grip the ball. Redding even tried using rosin on his hands, and it didn't work. "It was rough day to be out there, but still, I felt his command wasn't there," Acta said about Redding. "He left pitches up in the zone. He wasn't able to finish hitters when he got ahead of them. Most of the damage was done after two outs." Injury report: First baseman Dmitri Young (left side) played his first game in the accelerated camp and went 0-for-2. In his first at-bat, Young hit a line drive up the middle that was caught. In his second at-bat, Young struck out looking, but the ball appeared high in the strike zone. ... Infielder/outfielder Rob Mackowiak had an MRI exam on his right abdomen on Friday and the X-rays were negative. He thought he tweaked something in the abdomen after slipping out of the batters box in a Minor League game. This and that: Outfielder Michael Burgess and first baseman Chris Marrero are expected to make an appearance against the Indians on Sunday. ... The Nationals are expected to make their next round of cuts on Monday. Coming up: The Nationals play split-squad games against the Indians on Sunday afternoon. In Viera, Fla., Washington right-hander Jason Bergmann will face Cleveland left-hander Jeremy Sowers. In Winter Haven, Fla., Nationals left-hander Matt Chico will face Indians right-hander Jake Westbrook. Game time for both contests is 1:05 p.m. ET.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less