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Nationals Notebook

Patterson Goes Against Former Club

By Barry Svrluga
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, April 16, 2005; Page D09

Right-hander John Patterson not only makes his first start in Washington tonight, but it comes against the organization with which he spent seven seasons, the Arizona Diamondbacks.

"I'm looking forward to it," Patterson said, "especially because it's here."

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Patterson originally was drafted by the Montreal Expos with the fifth pick overall in 1996. But he became a free agent when the Expos didn't offer a contract within 15 days of the draft, and signed with Arizona for a $6 million bonus that November. In seven seasons in the Diamondbacks' minor-league system, he went 41-48, and made brief appearances with the major league team, going 3-4. He missed most of 2000 after elbow surgery.

The Nationals, when they were the Expos, acquired Patterson last spring for Randy Choate, who worked in relief for Arizona in Thursday's 5-3 Nationals' win.

Patterson threw seven innings of six-hit, two-run ball, walking none and striking out six in a loss to Florida last Sunday, earning the chance to stay in the rotation tonight.

Hernandez Gets Heated

When right-hander Livan Hernandez was removed from Thursday's game in the ninth, he had some words with home plate umpire Jim Joyce. Hernandez and catcher Brian Schneider thought leadoff hitter Luis Gonzalez had fouled off a pitch. Gonzalez walked and scored on Chad Tracy's home run. "There's no reason to harp on that," Schneider said. Joyce "did a great job."

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