As expected, Washington Nationals Manager Frank Robinson moved Terrmel Sledge into the lineup in place of struggling Ryan Church, a change that could end up being permanent.
"Its not a day-to-day thing," Robinson said. "Hes going to get a legitimate shot to get some ballgames under his belt before decisions are made to continue to go with him or switch back."
Tonight vs. Mets
Loaiza (0-0) vs. Glavine (0-2)
WDCA-20, WWZZ-FM-104.1, WFED-1050, WAGE-1200
Tomorrow vs. Mets
Ohka (1-2) vs. Ishii (0-2)
WDCA-20, WFED-1050, WAGE-1200, WTRI-1520
Sledge, who had an excellent rookie year in 2004 while playing part-time and is hitting .294, maintained his composure while Church played and he sat during the seasons first two weeks. But he welcomed the switch.
"Id be lying to you if I said I wasnt upset" about not playing, Sledge said, "but Im not going to pout about it. Im not going to whine about it."
Church, hitting just .152, was realistic.
"Im not mad or upset or anything," he said. "The only thing is Im disappointed in myself."
With Amtraks Acela service stalled by brake problems, the Nationals had to change their travel plans for the weekend series in New York. Of the teams traveling party of about 50, 30 or so decided to fly on a commuter jet, while the remaining 20 elected to ride the bus. A few players arranged private cars, according to traveling secretary Rob McDonald. . . .
Second baseman Jose Vidro and first baseman Nick Johnson each singled to extend their hitting streaks to 11 games. The last Washington player with an 11-game hitting streak was Del Unser in 1971.