PHILADELPHIA, April 7 -- Wil Cordero made his first start as a Washington National in Thursday's 5-4 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. It lasted only four innings before he injured his left knee, was removed from the game and placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Team physician Bruce Thomas said afterward that he suspects Cordero has torn cartilage in the knee, an injury Cordero has suffered before. Manager Frank Robinson said Cordero felt a "pop" when running out a fly ball in the fourth inning. He remained in the game for the bottom half, but was replaced by Nick Johnson.
Cordero declined to comment before leaving the clubhouse on crutches. He will have an MRI exam Friday morning in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where the Nationals begin a series with the Florida Marlins.
The Nationals said they would likely purchase the contract of infielder Carlos Baerga, who was the team's final cut before breaking spring training, on Friday. Baerga, 36, hit .229 with one RBI this spring.
Cordero played first base Thursday as part of Robinson's heavily right-handed lineup designed to handle Philadelphia left-hander Randy Wolf. The only lefty in the starting lineup was catcher Brian Schneider, whom Robinson wants to catch each starter twice before giving backup Gary Bennett a chance.
Hughes Is Picked Up
The Nationals claimed right-hander Travis Hughes off waivers from the Texas Rangers and immediately optioned him to Class AAA New Orleans. Hughes, 26, is a 6-foot-5 power-pitcher who struck out 8.1 hitters per nine innings in his seven-year minor league career. . . .
Brad Wilkerson singled, doubled and singled in his first three plate appearances, giving him seven consecutive hits over two games. The franchise record is eight, set by Montreal Expo Andre Dawson in 1983. Vladimir Guerrero had seven straight in 2002.