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NATIONALS NOTEBOOK

Church's Debut Is Postponed

By Barry Svrluga
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, April 7, 2005; Page D11

PHILADELPHIA, April 6 -- Washington Nationals Manager Frank Robinson held center fielder Ryan Church out of the lineup for the second straight game with a strained groin Wednesday night, and it now appears Church's debut won't come until Friday's game at the Florida Marlins.

Church is receiving therapy on the injury, and said it feels "a heck of a lot better." With left-hander Randy Wolf pitching for the Philadelphia Phillies, the left-handed-hitting Church will sit out again, meaning Brad Wilkerson will remain in center field and Terrmel Sledge will stay in left.

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Even when Church is healthy, it will be hard to keep Sledge out of the lineup. He homered in Monday's season-opening loss and went 1 for 4 in Wednesday's 7-3 victory.

"I liked the way Sledge was swinging the bat," Robinson said, "so we'll leave him in there."

Guillen Is Ill

Right fielder Jose Guillen spent most of the weekend, as well as Monday's season opener, battling flu-like symptoms. He spent Tuesday, a day off, resting after taking antibiotics, and said he felt "much better." "Hopefully, I'm going to stop swinging like a little girl," said Guillen before he hit the go-ahead homer. . . .

Wilkerson hit for the cycle and Vinny Castilla added two doubles and two singles. The last time two players from this franchise collected four hits in a game was Aug. 9, 2001, when Mike Mordecai and Orlando Cabrera each went 4 for 5 for the Montreal Expos.


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