Notes: Perez makes second outing

Notes: Perez makes second outing

VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals left-hander Odalis Perez pitched in a Minor League game on Sunday morning, and he wasn't as sharp as he was in his first outing.

Perez pitched 3 1/3 innings and gave up three runs, but only one was earned. He threw 60 pitches, while 38 of them went for strikes. Perez had problems throwing his cutter for strikes and his fastball was often up in the zone.

"I was up with the fastball," Perez said, "but at the same time, the velocity was there, the changeup was there, the curveball was there. My cutter wasn't that good."

Perez can't pitch in a Major League game because he hasn't received his work visa. For now, he is not scheduled to get the visa until March 27, but the Nationals are making a plea to get the visa at a much earlier date. The reason for the late date is because Perez didn't sign with the Nationals until Feb. 19.

Perez acknowledged that he would rather face Major League hitters right now.

"It's frustrating," Perez said. "I want to pitch in the big league level. I want to show what I got. I signed with this team because I want to pitch in the big leagues. I don't want to be wasting more time.

"The Minor League guys love to swing the bat. With the big league, they are more mature. They make you make pitches. They make you work with your pitches. In the Minor Leagues, you throw the ball and they are ready to rake."

He can relate: Shawn Hill has not pitched in an exhibition game because of a sore right forearm. He received a cortisone shot on Friday, and he hopes to start playing catch on Tuesday.

"As of right now, the forearm feels better in a sense, but I haven't been able to throw," Hill said. "That's kind of the big test. I was sitting around doing little things, playing with it, touching it. It doesn't really hurt at any point and time."

Hill has talked to teammate John Patterson about his injury because the latter had the same problem last year. Patterson went to Duke Medical Center and had the radial nerve fixed in his forearm. Hill also went to Duke to get a second opinion, but Dr. David Ruch couldn't find any problems with the nerve.

"He is probably the closest guy I can relate to," Hill said about Patterson. "We talked a little bit. He was kind of giving me tips and pointers."

Ask what advice he would give to Hill, Patterson said, "You have to stay as positive as you can. You have to try to do the things you can do and not let the stuff that is out of your control bother you. That is nearly impossible to do when you are sitting in his shoes. You have to get peace within yourself and understand that it is out of your control at this point."

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Injury report: First baseman Dmitri Young (left side) played in his second Minor League game and went 4-for-5. ... Elijah Dukes left a split-squad game against the Indians in Winter Haven, Fla., in the fourth inning after getting hit by a pitch on his left fourth and fifth fingers. There was minimal swelling, and the outfielder should be ready to play on Monday.

Rookie play: Top prospects Michael Burgess and Chris Marrero made an appearance in Washington's 9-0 victory over the Indians. They hit back-to-back doubles against reliever Scott Lewis in the seventh inning.

"It meant a lot [to play the game]," Burgess said. "It showed me what's up in the Major Leagues -- how big-time players get treated with the big food spread. We don't get that in the Minor Leagues."

After the final out was made in the seventh, manager Manny Acta and Jose Cardenal, special advisor to the general manager, immediately gave Burgess some advice. Burgess tried to induce a throw to third base when he bluffed tagging up after Wily Mo Pena lined out to left. That's a no-no when a team has a big lead.

"It's never too early to learn how to play the game. You don't bluff tagging up when you are up, 9-0. Those guys don't know that yet," Acta said.

On the mound: Right-hander Jason Bergmann pitched four scoreless innings against the Indians on Sunday.

"He was fantastic. He had command of every one of his pitches," Acta said. "He pitched ahead and he was able to expand [the zone] with that breaking ball."

Coming up: Washington returns to Space Coast Stadium on Monday afternoon to play the Tigers. Game time is at 1:05 p.m. ET. Washington left-hander John Lannan will face Detroit right-hander Justin Verlander.

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