Cristian Guzman broke an 0-for-18 slide at the plate with a seventh-inning triple on Friday night, but Manager Frank Robinson wasn't ready to pronounce an end to the shortstop's struggles at the plate.

"You know how many times you guys have asked me that question?" Robinson said. "One hit doesn't get you out of a slump. One hit makes you feel good and hopefully he'll get going.

"Right now, one win is not going to get us out of this skid we're in. It's one win to stop it, and you have to come back the next day and get something going. That's the same way as hitting."

Guzman, who was benched for three games this week, was in the starting lineup for the second straight night. He was 1 for 20 since the all-star break, entering last night's game. The triple raised his average to .190.

Coming to a Head

Reliever Sun Woo Kim's run of bad luck continued last night when Jose Guillen's first-inning double bounced into the bullpen and hit him on the head. (He appeared more surprised than hurt.) On Friday, Kim allowed 10 hits and eight runs in 12/3 innings against the Astros.

"You don't like to see it happen at any time, but hopefully it only happens every once in a while," Robinson said. "You just feel like you have to leave a guy out there. It's not a pretty sight."

Larkin Could Help

Robinson said that he would welcome the presence that Barry Larkin could bring to the clubhouse, should the former Cincinnati Reds shortstop decide to end his retirement and join the Nationals.

"Every ballclub needs leadership, especially veteran leadership," Robinson said. "You ask me, would he help or would I welcome him in there? Yes, I would. Would he be the answer to it? I don't think so, but he may be part of the answer."