Bill Ladson

Soriano in and out of trouble in eighth-inning appearance

Soriano in and out of trouble in eighth-inning appearance

WASHINGTON -- Right-hander Rafael Soriano pitched one scoreless inning in Wednesday's 6-2 loss to the Braves. It was his first outing since Friday, when he pitched two-thirds of an inning and allowed three runs in a 9-8 loss.

In between, Soriano worked on his mechanics and his slider. He was having a hard time keeping the slider down in the zone.

Soriano entered the game in the eighth inning. After getting B.J. Upton to fly out, Soriano allowed a double to Ryan Doumit and a single to Jason Heyward to put runners on first and third. However, he struck out Phil Gosselin, and Freddie Freeman lined out to third baseman Kevin Frandsen.

"[Soriano] had a better down angle. He threw some really good sliders today, had depth to them," manager Matt Williams said."The mechanical stuff he is working on ... he was much better today."

Soriano said he felt better on the mound and felt he had good command of his pitches.

"I tried to stay back [on the mound]. I had good balance," Soriano said. "My power is in the back. That's what I did today."

While Soriano was working on his mechanics, reliever Drew Storen was dominating this week, saving three games and striking out six batters in three shutout innings.

"I'm happy because we won and he did the job. I'm happy for him," Soriano said about Storen.

Asked if he would accept a setup role if the team decides to have Storen pitch the ninth inning, Soriano said, "I don't know. I'll figure it out. I have not talked to anyone yet about how I'm going to be in the bullpen. I'll wait and see."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.