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ORTIZ SHARP IN 6 INNING STINT AS NATS BEAT BIRDS 1-0

[March 23rd] -- Ramon Oritz is saving his best stuff for end of spring training. After being beat to a pulp for much of the spring, Ortiz gave up two runs in four inning in his last outing, with both runs coming in his first twelve pitches. He tossed three scoreless innings after that, and was even better Thursday against the Orioles. Ortiz pitched six innings, giving up five hits and no runs, striking out three. Forty-seven of his sixty-three pitches were strikes, showing that when he throws strikes, he'll be as good a starter as the Nats have. It's when he doesn't have his control that bad things happen. All along, Ortiz kept telling us not to worry about his record, that he was "working on some things."

Maybe he was telling the truth after all.

Offensively, the Nats were, well, offensive. They only got only five hits, scoring their lone run on a sacrifice fly that plated Ryan Zimmerman. Alfonso Soriano fielded three fly balls in the game, handling them flawlessly. He went 0-4 for the game.

Felix Rodriguez, the heir apparent for Luis Ayala in the bullpen, pitched two solid innings, allowing only a couple of singles.


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