VIERA, Fla. (AP) -- The Washington Nationals began Tuesday by
settling on their pitching staff and shaking up their lineup. They
ended it with the bullpen blowing a lead, the offense still
struggling and a sixth straight loss.
Osuna came on in relief of starter Tomo Ohka in the eighth with
a 3-2 lead and retired the first four batters he faced. But Cairo
tied it by driving a 2-0 pitch over the left-field wall, and one
batter later, Garcia put New York ahead with a shot to nearly the
Washington has scored a total of 14 runs in its past seven
"We saw a couple of better at-bats, but overall, we're not
clicking on all cylinders," manager Frank Robinson said. "We just
don't have our people swinging their bats the way they're capable
of swinging them."
Washington's Terrmel Sledge hit a two-run homer in the sixth on
a 2-0 pitch from Heath Bell, and Brad Wilkerson hit a solo shot off
Mets starter Mike Matthews with one out in the second inning for
his team-leading fourth homer of the spring.
Sledge could be a beneficiary of Tuesday's surprise roster move:
Endy Chavez, expected to start in center field and lead off, was
sent to Triple-A New Orleans. Robinson said he'll tinker with his
lineup until he find something that works.
"Right now, we're in a little slump, but we'll turn it around
soon," Sledge said.
Ryan Church started in center Tuesday and went 0-for-4. Sledge,
slated as the fourth outfielder, came on in the fifth and went
1-for-2. He's hitting .277.
"Whatever role they want me. Wherever they think I'm best, I'll
do it," Sledge said.
Washington also optioned right-handers Gary Majewski and Jon
Rauch to the minors, finalizing the 11-man pitching staff and
getting the roster down to 26 players, one over the limit.
Ohka went seven innings, his longest outing of the spring, and
looked good, giving up two runs on four hits and striking out
three. He threw 81 pitches, 52 for strikes, allowing David Wright's
RBI double in the second and Chris Woodward's solo homer to
left-center in the sixth.
Five-time All-Star Andres Galarraga retired after a subpar
spring training with the Mets, leaving him one homer shy of 400 for
his career. The 43-year-old first baseman signed a minor league
deal with New York after making his second successful return from
non-Hodgkin's lymphoma last season. ... The Mets acquired three
players: INF Benji Gil came from the Mariners for cash, INF Wilson
Valdez was claimed off waivers from the White Sox, and free-agent
catcher Kelly Stinnett signed a minor league contract. Stinnett
started Tuesday and went 0-for-2. ... Washington hired Jim Clarke
as its public address announcer after tryouts last week. Clarke was
the New Orleans Saints' stadium announcer from 1990-96.