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Nationals Notebook

Struggling Horgan Is Sent Down

By Barry Svrluga
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, April 25, 2005; Page D09

NEW YORK, April 24 — The Washington Nationals made their first demotion not related to an injury Sunday, sending left-handed reliever Joe Horgan to Class AAA New Orleans, and plan to call up right-hander Jon Rauch on Monday.

Horgan, 27, gave up six runs, five of which were earned, in Saturday's 10-5 loss to the New York Mets, pushing his ERA in eight appearances to 21.00.

"I wasn't doing much good here," Horgan said. "I wasn't pitching to my ability. I can’t be here and do that kind of stuff."

Horgan said he needed to work on some mechanical issues that have limited the movement on his cut fastball. He made the team out of spring training largely because Manager Frank Robinson preferred to have two lefties in the bullpen. Rauch was 1-1 with a 2.51 ERA in three starts for New Orleans, where he walked just one batter and struck out 18 in 14 1/3 innings.

Johnson's Streak Hits 14

Nick Johnson extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a fourth-inning single, and has reached base in all 19 games. Only two other players — St. Louis's Albert Pujols and Detroit's Brandon Inge — have reached base in every game. . . . Center fielder Brad Wilkerson, hit in the right forearm after trying to break up a double play in the ninth, wore a bandage on his arm after the game. "It's sore," he said, but it likely won't cost him time.

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