Nationals and Orioles Notebook

Patterson Fights Off Jitters in First Action Since July

By Barry Svrluga
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, March 4, 2007

VIERA, Fla., March 3 -- Before Saturday, John Patterson's last appearance against a major league team was July 9. So when he took the mound against the Baltimore Orioles, he didn't feel completely comfortable.

"You want to do well," the Washington Nationals right-hander said. "You're excited. You're nervous. And there's a lot that goes into it."

Patterson, the only Nationals pitcher with a guaranteed spot in the rotation, pitched two innings in the Nationals' 7-2 loss to the Orioles at Space Coast Stadium, allowing three two-out hits in the first that brought in the only run against him. He threw 33 pitches -- 26 in the first inning -- and had 21 strikes and 12 balls. The only well-hit ball against him was Jay Payton's RBI single through the right side of the infield.

"I made good pitches," he said. "You can't complain about that too much."

Manager Manny Acta said Patterson's curveball wasn't as sharp as it will be. "I don't worry about that," Acta said.

Patterson didn't throw any sliders by design. "It's always my last pitch to come," he said.

Perlozzo on Hairston

Orioles Manager Sam Perlozzo said he had only read about allegations that former Oriole Jerry Hairston Jr. had obtained a prescription for human growth hormone in 2004, when he was still with Baltimore.

"Things just seem to snowball here," Perlozzo said.

The Orioles' connections to steroids began with Rafael Palmeiro's positive test in 2005. Hairston's alleged involvement was first reported by

"I don't ever see any radical changes and things like that," Perlozzo said. "That's really not something for me to get into. I just hope that everything works out for all of them."

Carbrera Looks Sharp

Baltimore right-hander Daniel Cabrera made his first appearance of the spring, needing just 25 pitches against seven hitters in his two innings. The only hit he allowed was a dribbler to third by Washington third baseman Ryan Zimmerman.

"I feel like I'm in shape," he said. He mixed in both his change-up and his curveball, striking out Felipe Lopez to start the game and Robert Fick in the second.

Elbow Consultant

When Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts needed advice on how to come back from elbow reconstruction surgery, he got in touch with veteran Tony Womack, who had the surgery in October 2003 and was ready for Opening Day 2004, when he was the starting second baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals.

"I just told him that with the proper rehab," Womack said, "it'll take care of itself if you take care of yourself. They told me I wouldn't be ready till June. I guess that's why I don't listen to people."

Womack, 37, is trying to win a job as a utility man for the Nationals. "I came back because I can still play this game, even if people don't think I can," he said.

For Schneiders, It's a Girl

Jordan Schneider, the wife of Nationals catcher Brian, gave birth to the couple's first child at 10:03 a.m. Saturday. Tatum Elizabeth Schneider weighed 7 pounds 14 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long. Jordan Schneider was supposed to be induced Monday, but Brian received the call that she had gone into labor just after midnight on Friday.

Schneider likely will miss Sunday's game and be back for Monday. "Family comes first," Acta said. . . . Zimmerman went 2 for 2 with a pair of singles, and is now 4 for 5 with a home run in his first two spring training games. . . . Shortstop Cristian Guzman, appearing as a designated hitter, saw his first action, flying out weakly to center and striking out.

Pitcher of the Day RHP Joel Hanrahan, who has faint hopes of contending for the rotation, was supposed to throw two innings yesterday but lasted just one-third, giving up three hits, three walks and five runs. What went wrong? "Everything," Hanrahan said. Up Next vs. Dodgers at Viera, 1:05 p.m. WTWP 1500-AM, 107.7 FM vs. Astros at Kissimmee, 1:05 p.m.

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