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Sledge Will Take Over for Church

By Barry Svrluga
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, April 22, 2005; Page D09

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.

"It’s not a day-to-day thing," Robinson said. "He’s 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."

_____Up Next_____

Tonight vs. Mets

7:10 p.m.

Loaiza (0-0) vs. Glavine (0-2)

WDCA-20, WWZZ-FM-104.1, WFED-1050, WAGE-1200

Tomorrow vs. Mets

1:10 p.m.

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 season’s first two weeks. But he welcomed the switch.

"I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t upset" about not playing, Sledge said, "but I’m not going to pout about it. I’m not going to whine about it."

Church, hitting just .152, was realistic.

"I’m not mad or upset or anything," he said. "The only thing is I’m disappointed in myself."

Alternative Transportation

With Amtrak’s Acela service stalled by brake problems, the Nationals had to change their travel plans for the weekend series in New York. Of the team’s 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.

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